No political rants or angry screeds on our dismal collective condition here on the Fun Coast today.
I just can’t muster it, kids – nor could I be responsible for what I might say in my current state.
I’m going to let you in on a secret.
The heat and humidity of “Florida’s Summer of 2017” is driving me loopy.
I’m losing it – and as Travis Tritt said, “The whiskey ain’t workin’ anymore.”
I have a weird sociological theory that refrigeration is the only thing that separates us from the Great Apes.
You remember the 1986 movie The Mosquito Coast?
It was an excellent drama about an increasingly insane inventor who set out with his family to build a utopia in the jungles of Central America. In a pivotal scene, the mad man – expertly portrayed by actor Harrison Ford – screams, “Ice is civilization!”
Dude was right.
As you may have heard (after all, I’ve bitched about it to anyone who’ll listen for days), the air conditioner at Barker’s View HQ took a dump last week.
As my luck goes, even a $750 emergency after-hours diagnosis, complete with several refrigerant recharges by experienced service technicians, failed to resuscitate that beautiful water-to-air contraption that has run full-tilt and kept me in cold comfort for the past ten-years.
Look, I don’t have a clue what a ‘heat index’ is – but that sucker has been in the low 100’s for days. Suffice it to say, it’s friggin’ hotter than the Hinges of Hell.
As my beloved air conditioner slowly died in my arms – I was frantic.
As any Floridian would be.
I began writing increasingly larger checks to different technicians, “doctor shopping” for one more fix of R-22 refrigerant (at $100 per pound?) that I hoped would forestall the inevitable.
Let’s face it – my motives were purely selfish.
When the unit quietly gave up the ghost during the overnight hours last Monday, her passing was marked by the internal temperature inside our home climbing to a steady 86-degrees – where it has stubbornly remained for over a week.
As is my habit during times of acute crisis – I immediately stripped to my boxer shorts and mixed a strong cocktail – then dug the fans out of our sweltering garage, wept openly and began drinking heavily.
After extensive training, and intense knowledge and practical testing, the Federal Aviation Administration has granted me certifications as an instrument rated commercial airplane pilot. At one time in my life, I could expertly program sophisticated GPS systems and set up other navigation and communications radios all while orienting and operating an aircraft referencing only the flight instruments.
But I’ll be dipped if I could ever program my air conditioner’s thermostat.
As I went through the stages of denial, anger, bargaining, etc. – sweat dripping from the moobs I’ve grown in retirement – I stabbed wildly with my index finger at the backlit plastic box on the wall – a technological advancement that looks like the flight deck of the Space Shuttle – insanely cussing and hoping against hope I would hit just the right button that would bring back the cool.
It’s called heat-induced psychosis – I think.
In the end, it was not to be.
She was not coming back. I knew that.
Once reality hits, you would be surprised just how inventive even a tool like me can get.
Look, you can spend $175,000+ for an advanced degree in the physics of fluid dynamics – or you can simply watch a heat-crazed Floridian as he expertly daisy-chains a series of box fans to direct a tepid breeze into his bedroom when the A/C shits the bed.
Am I wrong?
The good news is it’s nothing a new $6,000.00, 3.5-ton unit with multi-position air handler and internal purifier in Architectural Gray powder-coat can’t take care of.
The bad news is they can’t put that sweet love machine in until Friday.
Could be worse. Right? (That’s been my mantra for the past few days. . .)
In the meantime, Patti and I are throwing elbows and jockeying for position around a couple of portable air conditioning units (God’s Love in a Box) that the installer mercifully loaned us.
It’s dropped the temperature in the main part of the house to a balmy – but doable – 79.
Well, they have their own portable unit going – it’s a cool 72-degrees in Patti’s home office where they idly lounge about in total comfort.
The moral? Take nothing for granted, my friends.
And stay cool. . . If you can.