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If I wore my own underwear, I'm sure they'd be soaked through right now. Yours certainly are..My air conditioner has been out for the past six days. 

If you don’t happen to live in the Houston area, you may have no idea what a horror that statement is. But imagine spending six days wearing a soaking wet, full-body, neoprene wetsuit while someone holds a hair dryer turned to high heat on you as you struggle to go about your everyday routine, including sleeping. You’re getting closer. Vietnam hot. Jungle plants are taking root.

The AC went out on a Friday night, and our home warranty company was completely unreachable until Monday morning. We did manage to get a repair guy out on Monday afternoon, with the usual Noon to 5 p.m. window. Which meant that the Tumlinson with the most flexible schedule would have to sit things out in the heat, waiting for the guy to show. That would be me, your friendly neighborhood Wordslinger. Never thought “freedom of work location” would ever bite me in the ass.

Here’s a topper: Comcast went haywire on Friday, too. So not only was our AC out, we didn’t have Internet until Monday morning. 

To quote Homer Simpson, “No Internet and no AC make Kevin something something.”

On the plus side, around 3p.m. the AC guy, Max, did show up and give the whole thing a once-over. And he confirmed what I already knew from the last time the AC made me its mortal enemy. The guy who installed the system was a crook and a thief. Or a moron. Or maybe a moronic crook and thief. You know, I’m really not sure? We’re just going to refer to him as Satan’s Anus from now on.

Everything about my AC is installed wrong. Wrong pipes, wrong copper tubing, wrong condenser coil, wrong vents. I’m pretty sure the goal was to create a horror of technology that would one day consume the Earth and all who walk upon it. Put a check mark in that box, sir, for you have succeeded. I’m positive that my AC will one day rule and/or kill us all.

Because this is a warranty thing, I’m kind of in a pickle. I’m at the mercy of the AC guy’s schedule, for one thing. And the lady answering phones at his office is a sneaky little minx. Her favorite tactic is to say she has to ask “the other girl in the office,” and that she will call me right back. I’m pretty sure “the other girl in the office” is one of her other personalities. I can’t be positive, though, because to date she’s never actually called me back about anything.

I’m making this sound so bad, right? Sorry. Negative nelly, THIS GUY. I blame the heat. And the sweat. Ever heard the term “swamp ass?” Learn it. Avoid it.

I did get word today that the parts have been found. They’re “way up North,” Max says. “I’m going to get them tomorrow,” Max says. “I’ve asked them to put you on the schedule some time over the next couple of days,” Max says. 

Max says a lot of things. Few of them have made me happy so far. But I can’t blame him. He’s the minion of a corrupt and evil system, much like our President. 

Anyway, I’m slowly turning to beef jerky, but I choose to look on the positive side. My skin has never looked more radiant, for example. Soft and supple. I positively glow. I’m thinking of opening a day spa in my living room.

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Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at


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