Sunday, August 13, 2006

The A/C Adventure

This summer has been hot. Uncharacteristically hot and humid for our little mountainous region. So the A/C has been going strong - both at home, and in the car. The other night, Husband and I were coming home with the A/C going full-blast when we saw something we just had trouble processing. A guy in a brand new, 2007-model car, all shiny and pretty, with his windows down. He was obviously hot, because he appeared to be sweating. But really, why in the world with a brand new car would you be driving around in this sweltering heat with your windows down?

Anyway, that got us talking about our childhood experiences with Air Conditioning. Husband had few instances to recount, as his family are all strong believers in the use of Air Conditioning. Mine, however...well, that's a different story all together.

We had a giant van when I was growing up. Dad somehow has a tolerance for heat that none of the rest of us acquired. So as we are sweltering in the back seat, we'd yell, "Dad, it's hot back here!" And he would obligingly crack his window. Now, I don't know if you've ever sweltered in the back of an enormous van-like vehicle. But if you have, you know that cracking a window doesn't help in the least. We had tiny little windows in the back, and Dad would tell us to open them to "create a draft" through the van. Yeah, um, that didn't help either. Mom would finally persuade him to turn the A/C on in the back, and we would be saved from heat exhaustion just in the nick of time. Still, however, we would usually arrive to wherever we were going still just takes a long time to recover from nearly having a heat stroke.

One thing Dad also didn't quite grasp was the techniques we employed to keep ourselves cool. There were always blankets/quilts around when we were growing up. Everybody had their own in the van because someone was inevitably cold when everyone else was comfortable. Anyway, there was a little pink quilt that I think belonged to Curly. I would steal it from her and use it as an insulator. You see, in the old gray van, there were four A/C vents under the back seat. If you got in just the right spot, you could drape that quilt over you, aim the A/C vent properly, and have your own little ice box. I use the term "ice box" loosely here. Compared to the rest of the siblings in the back who were panting in the heat, what you had there was like a refrigerator. However, you couldn't let Dad see you with the blanket draped over you, because he thought that meant you were cold. And then he'd turn the A/C off. And everyone hated you.

Dad always had a justification for driving with the windows down: saving gas, nice day, etc. That's all well and good when you're in the front seat. But give that a shot in the back seat sometime and see how it works.

I have to admit, I like the idea of driving with the windows down. But the problem is this: outside air. It's usually too hot or too cold, there's all sorts of dust and pollen to give you a sinus headache, and bugs seem to be randomly mixed in. Don't get me started on getting a fly in my car. I can't take it. I suppose it's a good thing that I married a man who loves his A/C, even if I do gripe about the bills now and then. I'd do much more griping about sweating and having bugs in the car. Pin It


  1. Anonymous3:22 PM

    Ya Dad hasn't realy changed much...he STILL drives with the windows down clamimng it's a nice day when it is 90+ outside.*sigh*


  2. It is so funny how differently people are wired! What is important to me is a complete irrational, irritation to someone else...and that is almost always a family member!

    I know your AC stories will have to be continued about our house AC. Just as soon as the day time temps drop into the 80's consistently...and the night time temps are below 70 we will be shutting off the house AC.

    That sure raises the level of irritation around here!

    Can't wait til it cools off! :)

  3. Curly8:21 PM

    I remember the back seat suffering well. I also remember picking up on the blanket strategy.

    Another thing I remember well is NLB curled up in a huge blanket sleeping on every trip regardless of the temperature.