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5:20 a.m. - 2007-06-14

IT NEVER FAILS

I spent roughly $600 on patio furniture this past weekend.

Tuesday afternoon, Andrew and I get home at 5:00, step into the house and lo and behold ... I smell HEAT.

And our furnace/AC unit is making a noise that sounds like a walrus trying to pass a kidney stone the size of a microwave.

I shut off the Air Conditioning immediately and then dance around the house in small circles saying "what do I do? What do I do?"

I call the Mrs. and get her approval to pay someone large amounts of money to come out here to make the house cool again.

She doesn't hesitate in telling me to do it because it's 101 degrees outside, 88 degrees inside ... do it you simpleton.

So I call this local service that has a very snappy jingle in all their local TV commercials.

"To make your house all cool again, call the folks at A.C. Hooligan."

Jesus ... I can hardly type that without snapping my fingers and bopping my head along to the words.

They have a "Same Day Service Guarantee" where since I called them at 5:00, somebody will be at my house before midnight.

I'm promised a technician before midnight.

I turn on the news, mop the sweat from my brow and the lead story is how local Air Conditioning services are seeing their work get overloaded due to the recent heat wave.

"We's out here 24 hours a day," the guy on TV says. "We's workin' 'round the clock."

Holy buhcrap!

I started to think that if this guy shows up at my doorstep at 11:59 p.m. it's gonna be a long night.

Alas, the guy shows up at 8:00.

He starts tearing my furnace apart with blinding speed, turns it on, turns it off immediately and says "Bad blower motor".

I wasn't offended because I've been called worse.

As it turns out, he was talking about the motor in the AC unit.

And it'd be tomorrow (Wednesday) before he could fix it.

As my dear friend Tony the Tiger would say ... "GRRRRRRRRRRRREAT!!"

We began opening windows and since by now it was cooler outside than it was inside, the house soon cooled off to a pleasant 84 degrees.

Had a hard time sleeping that evening because I had approximately a bajillion fans pointed at the bed, all set on high.

The guy came back yesterday along with a co-worker who just happened to go to our old church ... a guy I hadn't seen in a few years.

I knew that he and his wife lived out here in our subdivision but had also noticed their house was for sale with them all moved out.

"How's Dana doing?" I asked, referring to his wife.

"She's living at her parents' house," he said. "I'm living out on Main Street."

Oh.

Yes.

A simple "We're divorced now" would have been sufficient.

But then about an hour later he said "Dana's gonna be ticked. She told me to get home early tonight. Wait until she hears where I was."

Hmmmmm.

A simple "We're separated now but she still rides my ass about getting home on time after work" would have been sufficient.

So while these guys are outside hosing down my outdoor air unit (sounds dirty but it's not. I mean ... it WAS dirty ... but I'm referring to the big mechanical contraption on the side of the house and not my penis by any means), I'm trying to call Susie on her cell to tell her "When you get home and see Steve in the house do NOT ask about Dana. It's a complicated story and I'll confuse you after they leave."

But for some unknown reason, she's not answering her cell phone.

So she comes bopping in through the garage, the Air is starting to circulate in the house and she sees Steve and gives him a hug.

"It's so good to see you!" she squeals.

I'm trying to make a hand signal to her as discretely as possible that would convey the message "Don't ask about Dana!" to her.

This hand signal consisted of a bizarre mixture of pantomime with me making everything from "phone to my ear" motions to "slashing across the throat" motions to "throw a hail mary on fourth down" motions.

Basically I looked like I was having an epileptic fit.

Finally she blurts out "How's Dana and the kids?"

And Steve, a pretty quiet guy says, "They're fine."

It pained him to say it though.

And I know my chest sunk as he said it.

So after they left the house with $600 of our money and we were at a steady 88 degrees in the house with promises that it'd be cooler in a few hours, we went out for pizza and I got to tell Susie all about the separation/divorce/still nagging him to be home on time.

Ate dinner, went home and the house was now 80 degrees.

Gotta tell ya ... it felt like Heaven.

That is ... if the A/C ever breaks down in Heaven.

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