This is not a cooked-up story
Thank God for A/C
"A/C." Two letters paired together that are about as satisfying to hear as “Never-ending lobster.” “Sleeping in.” “All Michael Bolton music now outlawed.”
Ahhhhh, A/C, my dear friend. God bless the maker of cold. God bless the maker of air. God bless God. We are able to enjoy this wonderful concoction of 60 degree temperature to rival all of our summer heat. When air conditioning was invented in 1902 by Willis Haviland Carrier, it signaled the beginning of an age known as The Not Completely Flipping Out and Killing People With Hammers Age. Instead of the heat, we had cool air flowing through our homes. We were able to greet Amazon Prime drivers in goose-down parkas zipped up to our throats instead of wearing nothing but dental floss and holding a dripping popsicle, our hair sopping wet and disheveled. It was the beginning of tranquility.
These two letters are something that every homeowner considers when house-shopping. That, and where is the nearest Taco Bell. It is such an important amenity I am sure people have sprung for a mansion because it had A/C, and declined a dilapidated rust shack reeking of rancid milk with human chalk outlines on the floor because it did not have A/C.
I am now confident you are beginning to grasp how critical A/C is.
You will therefore grasp how critical it is to get A/C back, when you lose it right in the middle of a summer heat wave, which is precisely what just happened to my family.
Problem With My Thingy
The summer heat wave began here in Seattle on Friday June 25th 2021, and peaked at 106 degrees on Monday the 28th. Now, mind you, it is not that we do not enjoy living in the center of the sun, or piling the kids in the van and taking the occasional trip to Hell, but sustained temperatures of that level are too much to ask of anyone. Even Winston the cat had intentionally removed all his fur and was skulking around like a naked sweaty snake.
I began to suspect something was wrong when I noticed important pieces of my flesh melting off of me. At one point I asked my wife where our toddler was, and she pointed to a fleshy puddle of goo on the floor. It was then that I observed the thermostat, which was now registering a balmy 86-degrees indoors during 100+ degree temperatures outside.
The cause? Apparently a broken heat exchanger was the culprit. Before the Super Nice But Irritated Because They Were Hot Technicians came out on Saturday, I had never heard of such a device, and made sure to only label all things in my house which are beyond my mortal comprehension, as “thingies.” In short, the thingy was malfunctioning, and did not provide adequate cooling to the other thingy, which I think made a bunch of thingies angry. This is obviously because of the fact that there are hobgoblins and evil sprites in there, and our house has been hexed by travelling Wiccan missionaries after having been built on an ancient Indian burial ground. PS, Carol Anne says hi from our TV.
Be that as it may, the heat exchanger thingy was not doing its part, and thus, we were all enjoying a nice weekend floating in lava. Even the pool out in the pasture was registering temperatures that would be the envy of Satan, so it was more or less useless to try to cool our toes in there; we were not going to be so foolish as to do that. (Sidebar: we were foolish and we did do that.)
It took three...count them...one-two-three appointments by the air conditioning company to come out and diagnose the problem. I distinctly remember feeling bad for the second technician who came out and was wearing all black. Black shorts. Black pants. Black shades. Black socks. Black hat. In the sun. Apparently everyone who works for my local air conditioning company lives in The Matrix, where air conditioning is more or less a blue-pill issue. Nerds everywhere, can I get a witness.
Meanwhile, over in Hades...
At the same time, I was pulling out and installing the in-window air conditioner thingy I had purchased for our previous home, which I believe cools an area of about one foot by three inches. I am sure it must have been comical for a fly on the wall to see all four of us huddling there, jockeying for position, hip-checking each other out of the way in order to cool ourselves back down to temperatures that would not look like this:
Yes, we had no A/C. Those two wonderful letters escaped us this past week, and are not set to be properly rectified until this Tuesday night and Wednesday night. Apparently our house is so possessed that it takes two trips by a Native American Shaman to come out and expel the heat demons. We are so looking forward to no longer singing God Is In His Holy Temple.
So what did all of this hot insanity do to me? I snapped at my kids. I barked at my wife. I kicked Winston. That last one is not true, although I wanted to. I am admittedly no cat-lover, but that would have been just wrong. So instead I squinted my sweat-drenched eyes at the ceiling light over his head, in order to make light lasers shoot down at him.
You have done that very same thing, so stop judging me, or I will find a thingy to throw at you.
Losing Our Cool
Maybe you are in your own heat wave, and if anyone plays Buster Poindexter, you may go thermonuclear.
In voiceovers, there are myriad thingies that may make us lose our cool:
- Equipment malfunctions
- Not getting awarded the job that we wanted
- Others moving ahead, and yet we feel like we are stagnating
- Power outages
- Internet outages
- Conflicts with colleagues
- Conflicts with colleagues during power and internet outages
- Audio quality issues
- Getting rebuffed by marketing prospects
- When you deliver your voiceovers with the heart of an angel but your client has the discernment of a cocker spaniel
Believe me, I understand this fury, and it makes me want to harm small animals, cocker spaniels notwithstanding.
Now, my wife and I happen to be descendants of the original Homo sapien genus. All evidence points to the fact that I am a human. As such, I am perfectly capable of blowing my stack when my favorite sports team does not win. When I find that my favorite shirt no longer fits. When I discover that the in-laws are on their way over. I am sure you feel the same.
Voiceovers are no exception. Anytime I am feeling my blood pressure rise, or my Defcon Level drop, it behooves me to take a break. When our youngest son Asher was a newborn, there were nights where my wife was away doing wife things, and Asher decided that for the duration of the evening he would utterly despise me. There was little I could do except offer large sums of cash, which did not seem to register with him, though I even promised to throw in a Paw Patrol money clip. He would cry and cry and cry. And believe it or not, after phone calls to friends where I offered rewards to trade lives with me, I was actually counseled to put him down and walk away for a few minutes. I was assured by fellow dads that, though he was crying incessantly, he was not in fact on a buildup to detonation. It was actually OK to step away and breathe for a few.
So that is my counsel to you. If you are in a heatwave, go for a drive in a car that has A/C. If you do not have a car that has A/C, then go buy a car that has A/C. Then go drive in it. If you do not have any money, then go get a job, earn some money, save it, then go buy a car that has A/C, then go drive in it. If you are unable to work, Antarctica has room for you. All you will need is a car that has A/C to get you there. See? Problem solving.
If you are pushing too hard, take a break. Regroup. Pull back and recharge your batteries. Get some wind in your sails. It is perfectly acceptable so take a break. It helps you refocus, gives you some needed peace, and enables you to not snap and start shooting people. I know I have needed to pull back here and there for any one of the reasons stated above.
For my family, we do not know exactly when the A/C will come back on. It may be this week, and it may not. This Shaman does not believe in overpromising, and I respect that about him.
Until that time, you will find me in the hot section under "H", squeezing a small rodent until its head thingy pops off.
YOU HAVE MADE IT ALL THE WAY TO THE END, AND I SALUTE YOU.
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Seattle Voice Actor & Voiceover Artist for hire