Red-hot temps with a redneck attitude
“Why are you sitting around in your underwear during the middle of the day?” I asked husband-head curiously. “Would you like a cigarette and a beer to complete the look?”
I had come home from the grocery store to find husband-head half naked on the couch, looking much like a character in Jeff Foxworthy’s famous “You Might Be A Redneck If …” series.
“HOT!” was all husband-head offered as an explanation, as if words themselves would elevate the temperatures.
But he was right.
It was mid-July and the temperatures had soared around 100 degrees and our swamp cooler had decided to bite the dust.
“FIX IT!” I screamed to husband-head when I turned the knob on the cooler and nothing happened. “For the love of Pete, we’re going to DIE in here!”
Husband-head is a handy guy, but air-conditioning is not one of his specialities.
“I think it’s broken,” he said after a thorough inspection of the unit ” which basically consisted of turning the same knob I did, after which nothing happened.
We ended up calling a heating and cooling professional and offering our first-born puppy if he could come out as soon as possible.
“Umm … no thanks ma’am,” the nice man kindly refused. “But I can be out there in a couple of days.”
Meanwhile, husband-head and I sat and sweltered in the hot house.
“What do you want for dinner?” I asked husband-head, although I wasn’t hungry at all because of the heat.
“An ice cube,” he sighed. “My kingdom for an ice cube.”
I emptied a tray of ice cubes on a plate and served it to him with a fork and knife. When he was done with his igloo dinner, he brought the plate into the kitchen and found me bent over with my head in the freezer, gasping in the cool air.
“YEAH!” he said, with a more-than-interested look on his face.
“Don’t even,” I warned as I turned around with beads of sweat on my face. “Don’t even think about that. It’s way too hot.”
I suggested he take a cold shower instead.
Our one saving grace was the air conditioner in the bedroom, which quickly became the most popular room in the house. Husband-head laid on the bed and positioned the vents so that all the cold air blew on him.
“You’re sucking up all the cool!” I yelled, trying to get in on the action. “Gimme some!”
Husband-head again got that look on his face.
“Not THAT!” I said with horror. “I meant some of the cold air!”
The dogs wanted some, too. Cold air, I mean.
They laid on top of us, panting and drooling, trying to cool off.
“It’s OK,” I assured Weber, patting the bigger of the two Labs. “It’s OK to bite Papa because he let the swamp cooler break down. I’d bite him, too, except that he might get the wrong idea …”
As the temperatures rose, so did our tempers.
“Why can’t you have, like, an ice cream delivery job with a refrigerated truck we could sit in?” I wanted to know.
“You don’t need one, Miss Frigid,” he retorted.
Finally, the heating and cooling guy arrived and it was all I could do not to kiss him.
“Your motor is burned up from the heat and doesn’t want to work,” he summed up.
“But how about the swamp cooler?” I pressed.
The nice man just raised an eyebrow.
“I can fix it,” he assured me. “But it might take a little while to get the parts. This swamp cooler was made shortly after the dinosaurs became extinct.”
A few hours later, the cooler was up and running, and the house began to return to normal temperatures, as did our temperaments.
Husband-head was again on the couch in his underwear, only this time much more comfortable.
“I’ll take that beer now, if you don’t mind,” he asked politely.
I brought it to him and he took a long swig, wiping his mouth on his arm.
Swamp cooler or no swamp cooler … you might be a redneck if …
Heidi Rice is a Rifle correspondent for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice.com.
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