A/C Is Our New God

I recall the night very well indeed. A friend of Mum’s came over – not someone I disliked by any means, but they obviously had woman stuff to chat about – and I’ve always been happier with privacy and no interruption anyway, and from memory I’d eaten something to fulfil the nutritional requirements of the evening meal, I didn’t go to bed hungry, that’s for sure, and I excused myself and retired to my boudoir, turned the light off, and watched, if memory serves, the first episode ever broadcast on Australian TV of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures Of Superman. Memory frequently does not serve me very well, but I have a feeling that what I watched was superman-related: an extended pilot maybe, or Channel 9 (if that isn’t too sweeping a guess) putting the first two episodes together into a ‘movie-length premiere’. Not quite sure now, and trying to find out[1] hasn’t helped clarify much more than if it was this series it must have been 1993 (or 1994 – perhaps we were still getting shows and movies a lot later than North America and Europe then – perhaps, but ’93 sounds about right).

The point is that I loved it. It was like my own little movie theatre. Like my own little motel room. I hadn’t had a TV long – the set was very old, and no longer needed in whichever room it had previously been located – and I lay in bed and watched the show and felt, I dunno, sort of grown up. In hindsight this is perhaps a telling remark to retrospectively make (get your head around that!) – but it seems to me, that as a fairly immature individual who was quite happy with not growing and developing in that self-help kind of way, this may have been a key moment in the last phase of that emotionally stunted state: a phase from which I may have only recently emerged. Everything’s cool, all I need is my room – well, it’s not really enough, is it? There’s more to life.

This situation of being quite happy being alone a lot of the time has meant that I have been subjected to baking conditions in Summer for about fifteen years. Parents would say, open your door, the air conditioner’s just on the other side, but I was developing sleeping problems – or trying to tackle them, I can’t remember which came first – and by then I needed my sleeping environment to be as dark and as noiseless as possible. And so I slept in an oven.

Living at Hurlstone Park, in half a house, coping with heat and pet smells because the fences weren’t robust enough to keep the dogs in, and with many other unsatisfactory conditions besides, was unpleasant. Very bloody unpleasant, in some ways. And when the paradise of the Strathfield option came along, the only true drawback, in a house where plenty is lacking but all failings are made up for with character and charm, is the wretched state of Laetitia and I, and the pets, when it’s hot. The house is honestly more unpleasant to be inside than outside when the temperature reaches about 28 degrees.

And then this last weekend came along. And it was stifling, in a surprisingly violent and cruel way, and we spontaneously decided, without discussion – almost like a gentle mental dialogue had been going on about this subject between us – to get an air conditioner, NOW. So that’s what we did. Found a good model at a good price on a well-known auction website, drove over, paid the money to the owner, brought it back, plugged it in, and marvelled at it. It’s almost a shame that today isn’t hot enough to turn it on.

And I didn’t watch Lois & Clark that time for Terry Hatcher’s breasts either – they weren’t part of the marketing of the show then, and they hadn’t yet hired their own publicist or signed a more lucrative contract, as it was rumoured in TV industry gossip, than Terri’s.

Privacy and coolness need not be mutually exclusive.

[1] This footnote will date rapidly, but is anyone else annoyed, being as polite as possible, about seeing Jimmy Wales’ mug on Wikipedia at the moment? No, I don’t want to read your personal appeal, Jimmy. I’m guessing in it you tell me you’re some battling little bloke who’s doing his best and you are hardly making a living out of this searching tool at all. I know that is crap, Jimmy. OK, just read Jimmy’s appeal – we’re all in this together, this is proof of the power of human ingenuity and it’s a collection of global knowledge and wisdom, and that sort of thing. Go on, give us a small amount of money, please. Well, no, Jimmy. If 1% of the 400,000,000 global users of Wikipedia (your figure) gave you one dollar, you would get $4 million. Not sure you need that money. Thank you for your website, though.

Published in: on November 15, 2010 at 7:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

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