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Have You Ever? | Volume Five: The Air Conditioning Edition

Have you ever been sofa king hot, you might actually feel cooler if you set yourself on fire? With temperatures in excess of 100+ degrees, coupled with the stifling humidity of death, just walking from your car to your house generates enough boob sweat someone could probably jet ski in the middle of your cleavage.

While racing to the front door, you can literally see the steam and heat waves rising up from the black asphalt. Beads of salt water trickle down your face, back, neck, and stomach, until you feel utterly slimy from head to toe. Meanwhile, your inner thighs have rubbed together one too many times, causing incredible friction, and much like kids playing in the woods, rubbing two sticks together, you’re fairly certain your shorts are about to go up in flames.

Anticipating icy-cold, sweet-relief, you fumble with the keys in your sweat filled palms, before managing to unlock the door.

Except that once you’re inside?

There is no such sweet relief.

In fact, it might even be hotter.

… The heck?

Drenched in sweat, you run toward the thermostat, only to find rather disturbing news.



And that’s when it becomes painfully obvious the central air conditioning is broken.

And it’s 4pm on a Saturday afternoon.

And all hell is about to break loose.

Suddenly, you hear a screeching sound coming from upstairs. It’s a noise you’ve never heard before, and one that can only be described as truly horrifying. And even though it’s totally implausible, you immediately worry one of your biggest fear has come true.

Frantically bolting up the steps, taking two at a time, a million thoughts race through your over active imagination. You’ve never trusted that Furnace/HVAC thingy across the hallway from your bedroom. You’ve been convinced for years that one day it would spontaneously combust. And oh my god, that day has arrived, and we’re all gunna die a fiery death.

Thankfully, your over active imagination has led you astray, because once you’re upstairs, you’re relieved to find the house is NOT on fire, even though it FEELS like it is. And then you briefly wonder why you ran in the direction of the supposed danger? And what’s that smell? Is it coming the Furnace/HVAC thingy? Or is coming from your own armpits?

Panic stricken, you shut down the Furnace/HVAC. Then, you reach for the phone and simultaneously pray for a miracle emergency air conditioner repairman.  Sadly, no one will be able to help you until sometime late Monday afternoon. Mostly because the paralyzing thunder and lightning storm left 30,000 people without any power, and at least you still have electricity. And Internet. And television. And that’s when you realize things could be WAY worse. But that very realization will slowly diminish, as you spend the next 46 hours of your life enduring treacherous conditions.

And here’s why…

After opening every window and turning on every fan, you will quickly learn that only makes the house even more humid and even more disgusting. Leaving you to pace around aimlessly, cursing the summer, and secretly wishing Mother Nature would magically unleash a blizzard, complete with 10° and five feet of snow.

Traveling back downstairs to somewhat cooler conditions, cooler by like ½ a degree, you won’t find any comfort. As you ponder the ways you’re going to survive the night, you momentarily consider packing up your belongings and hightailing it out of there. But then you remember your bank account, and the fact that you can’t even afford to buy a new pair of socks, let alone pay for a hotel room.

Desperate and defeated, you look for ways to distract yourself. Temporary salvation lies in watching the AMC television series Breaking Bad, because it’s the only TV show gripping enough to deter you from recognizing your face melted off. But after watching nearly every single episode, and reciting line after line, that no longer provides a reprieve from feeling as though you’re being asphyxiated.

As the heat continues to rise, you may or may not beg for mercy, out loud, repeatedly. You will become severely cranky, and completely irrational. Also, you can forget about cooking, because any use of the oven/stove will increase the temperatures tenfold. But that’s okay, because you don’t even like cooking. And the heat has killed your appetite, along with your will to live.

However, while standing the middle of the kitchen, you will have one shining moment when you accidentally figure out how to fan yourself with the refrigerator door, by standing in front of it, and opening and closing it really quickly. And then you realize the faster the succession, the better the breeze. Unfortunately, your arms will grow tired, especially if you haven’t exercised in over a decade, and eventually you’ll have to stop.

Intense headaches, more than likely caused by heat stroke, along with intense malaise leave you incapable of functioning whatsoever. And while sitting on the sofa, hopelessly staring into outer space, you begin to wish you were in outer space because even though it’s dark, and scary, and probably riddled with aliens, it’s got to be cooler than your house.

At some point, in the middle of the night, out of sheer desperation, you will consciously decide to take a freezing cold shower, only to be saturated in sweat again, within five minutes of drying off.

Oh, and you can forget about getting any sleep. Because you would have a better chance beating Olympic Gold Medalist, Michael Phelps, swimming in a pool filled with tree sap, which is pretty much EXACTLY what your bed feels like.



And just when you think things can’t possibly get any worse, it dawns on you. You still have THIRTY HOURS to kill until the repairman is supposed to show up.

And that’s when you break out the Grey Goose.

Because, if you have to suffer through this? You might as well be drunk.

Except that doesn’t help, either.

And the next day, you’re just hung over.

And, sweaty.

And, nauseous.

And, quite delirious.

And you still have 24 hours to kill.

After what feels like forever plus eternity, the repair guys will arrive, in a blaze of glory. And you will never be so happy in all your life. In fact, you’ll be so happy you could cry, except that you’re so dehydrated, you can’t possibly produce any tears.

Luckily, the air conditioning will be restored, along with your will to live.

And when the house is finally cool enough, you can finally get some sleep. And sleep, you will, as if you had mononucleosis, like for 18 hours in a row. You awake refreshed and all kinds of psyched about life. And everything’s coming up Rainbows and Roses, and Unicorns and Fairy Dust.


You hear those truly horrifying screeching sounds, again.

You immediately wonder if you’re still dreaming?

Or if you’re just still drunk?

Or hallucinating?

Or having some form of ‘Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome’ Flashback?

Unfortunately, you’re not.

The motor inside of the Furnace/HVAC totally crapped out. And while the repair guys did a fabulous job of removing the chipmunk nest that was OUTSIDE unit, they didn’t do a damn thing to fix the INSIDE of the unit.

And, HOLY EFFING HELL, here we go again.

And then you will spend the next three days and two nights: staring & sweating, sweating & staring, sobbing in corner of your shower while in the fetal position, spoon-feeding yourself ice cream, destroying the remains of your liver with vodka, and making unrealistic deals with a higher power, in hopes of ending this torture.

Lastly, when it’s all said and done, and after the air conditioning repair people come for the second time, you will have lost eight pounds of water weight, and one thousand, five hundred, sixty-two, dollars.

So, yeah…

Have you ever been without air conditioning for extensive periods of time? And if so, how did you deal with it?

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  • Oh my WORD! Reminds me of when the hurricane took out electricity for five days, BUT IT WASN’T OVER 100 OUTSIDE! All I can say for you girl is, “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” I can’t imagine! Love the thighs reference. I could picture everything! Funny, when I saw hum in and hum out on the picture, I assumed humidity… but then I imagined humming in and out, ‘hmm mmm MMM” Ha!

  • Fragrant Liar

    Holy crap, I need a cold shower. You coulda made it worth my while with a little erotica, but no! You had to be all heat strokey. Geez.

  • You’re 100 % right.
    Nights with no AC are the WORST!

    Maybe I should move to Maine, where it’s MUCH more mild!

  • Let’s trade weather?!

  • I would too!

    And this was really awful.
    But THANKFULLY all is fixed. For now.

  • Ahahahahahhahahh!


    That is HILARIOUS!

    And, I love you!

  • Oh, Katherine!!!



  • Have I ever been without air conditioning for an extended period of time? Yep. About 10 years. Our last apartment (in the same sweaty latitude as you) didn’t have it and we couldn’t afford a window unit. And it was on the second floor. I haven’t had central air since about 1991.

  • Wow, Kim! That’s crazy talk to me!
    I’d rather go without food than live with no AC.

  • Sandra

    Oh Mel…this is awful, and I know you survived, but blech…on an entirely different note, I sort of got sidetracked by the whole “swimming in your cleavage” comment. I was sidetracked with jealousy. My little buds of flesh, alas, do not even allow for swimming in the shallow end.

  • Thank you, sweetness!

  • Hey Mia, how did I miss this? I blame the Olympics and a holiday, but that’s no excuse. It sounds like you went through the wringer, and more than once! I sat here yesterday, in significantly lower heat, and (like yourself) wished for snow. So, I feel your pain! Indigo x

  • I’m that hot daily because I live in Georgia. Try those same temps with 100 percent humidity and that sums up about 2 full months of our summers. THANK GOD our AC has not gone out in that. We did lose heat in winter one year but I bundled up in an electric blanket and toughed it out which is way, way simpler than surviving summer without air.

  • Is it Winter yet?

  • I could NEVER live in GA. No way.

    And much like you, I’d rather be COLD than HOT any day!

  • ladyV

    i could survive in GA, it’s one of my settle down areas. i do okay in heat, not humidity. i am not looking forward to winter unless it’s like the last winter we had. it snowed once in october and that was it. yes, that’s what i want. one big snow and then fall like temp. please.

  • I want at least ONE sick blizzard, and at least few good snow storms!

  • Thank you. I am so OVER this summer! Good idea, sleeping downstairs!

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