It was very hot and humid all weekend, just the way I loathe it. I don’t dare use my oven. I’m eating so much rabbit food I’m nearing the point of scratching myself behind my ear with my foot.
This is the situation: I reside in an electrical inclusion brownstone that used to exclude air conditioning for all. In recent years my building’s management began rewiring vacated apartments so that incoming tenants can have air conditioning. They also pay obscenely higher rent than me. My sanctum sanctorum was wired in 1917 for little more than a kerosene lamp, a battery powered kazoo and public access TV stations that I never watch. In years past, I frequently had companions I could crash with on extremely hot and humid nights. My Current Companion has air conditioning and a roommate that is as immobile a fixture as a refrigerator so basically until September, when temperatures cool, I’m stuck suffering solo in my sweat lodge. My Current Companion did meet me for dinner in midtown – and little else:
Current Companion (reasonable tone): We don’t have to have sex every time we hang out you know.
Me (morbid tone): We don’t?
Current Companion: Sometimes it’s just nice to talk.
Me: Talk about what, us not having sex?
One thing that was discussed was my fan situation, and I’m not referring to you, my seven loyal readers. Shortly after I returned from my West Coast getaway, my beloved sixteen-year-old Vornado fan, which I admit had been showing signs of death for nearly a year, died. None of my fan whispering techniques worked in my attempts to revive it. These techniques included everything short of me doing a fan dance — shaking it gently, coaxing the blades with my steel letter opener (to avoid slicing off a digit I might need to use later) or turning the off/on button on slowly. The hum the motor used to make was silent. Frustrated I cried:
Me: Please work!
My Beloved Vornado Fan: I’m dead bitch! I ain’t never gonna work again! Don’t you get it? You need to replace me!
Put that way, I went online and researched Vornado fans because I am brand loyal. I also happen to have a backup Vornado, but it’s not an air circulator (Vornado’s preferred term for their fans) that could work the entirety of my garret.
During my research I discovered that Vornado now makes a tower fan. When I was visiting my sister, Dovima, she had an oscillating tower fan that felt pretty good, but it was not a Vornado. The Vornado tower fan doesn’t oscillate:
Vornado Tower Fan: You don’t need no stinking oscillation!
The Vornado has a wide cooling zone so it blasts a constant span of airflow. That works for me. I did further research and I learned that my local Bed Bath and Beyond had the Vornado tower fan in stock. It was selling for $99.99, but I created my 437th G-mail account to score a 20% off in-store coupon. Including New York’s 8.875% sales tax the total came to $87.09.
The challenge was getting it home. The box seemed to be taller than me, if I stood three and a half feet high but it was light, weighing around fifteen pounds. I knew it was going to be bulky and I considered asking my companion to come uptown to help me get it home, but I knew what she would say:
Current Companion: Oh. My. God. You are so stupid! Just pay seven dollars and put it in a cab! Promise me that you won’t carry it home yourself. You’ll pull something or collapse. Take a taxi!
Yet, I’d rather invest those seven shekels in a before noon movie screening at my local multiplex and then slip into another screening unnoticed since all women over forty have the invisibility gene. I have yet to see Brave!
Realizing that it would behoove me to avoid this discussion with my companion, I didn’t seek her advice, I kept my seven clams pocketed and I decided to carry my ten-foot-tall-seeming Vornado tower fan home on a city bus. I just made sure that all the senior citizens boarded ahead of me, but when a young woman tried to hop on before me and my tree-sized parcel, I flashed her my “not gonna happen” look and breathed a little fire. She got the message.
Upon exiting the bus, I still had to carry my tower fan a short distance.
Once inside my building, there was the Everest aspect of the journey, trekking up three flights of stairs without banging it constantly into the walls or against the doors of fellow tenants.
If I encountered anyone annoying enough to ask me what was in my box emblazoned with pictures of the fan within, I was prepared to quote the old Woody Allen line, “Earrings.” Fortunately, I made it into my apartment without bickering with anyone or straining anything.
I set up my new tower fan quickly. It has a remote control that is a nice accessory but it fails to work if you point it at yourself instead.
Now, ten days later, as I currently bake, unlike others on the Atlantic seaboard at least I have electricity in my room full of steamy air blowing all around me. Yet, fall and hot food and the return of hot companionship cannot come soon enough.