Saturday, August 13, 2011

My Theory, Which is Mine

Every human has their own set of
imperfections, some benign and some monumental. And our animal friends are not allowed to stand over to the side and cast stones either. Some of them are nuts too.

A case in point is a female cardinal I know. We're discussing the animal kingdom here, so please don't conjure up an image of Cardinal Richelieu wearing a dress. Actually, this outfit looks quite a bit like a dress, doesn't it? Hmmm?

No, I'm talking about the cardinal bird. Lovely plumage... oh, wait, that's the male. Unfortunately, the female is a bit drab and perhaps that may be the root cause of this whole tragic affair.

For weeks now, this dumbbell descendent of dinosaurs has been trying to get into the house.

She pecks at the windows. She storms the windows. She flutters and hovers at the windows pretending to be a hummingbird. All day, every day.

My wife's theory is simple and straightforward. The bird has a wire loose. I have a different theory. It is my theory, which is mine. If you didn't get that Monty Python reference, you really need to get out more.

My theory is (!) that since we've been providing food and water for these creatures right at this location for more than twenty years, the birds now want the house and this little twit is testing our defenses.

It's been hot
this summer and the birds know air conditioning when they hear it. It's been hot all over the US and people are saying there's never been anything like it.

Historians, naturally, are dubious of such sweeping statements. Even my own poor knowledge of history makes me aware of the New York heatwave of 1896 which killed 1,500 people. That's right, 1,500 documented deaths which means there were likely a boatload more.

People couldn't even escape to air conditioning in such rugged days. Mr. Carrier would not be completing his invention for another six years or so. But invented or not, a lot of us po' folk still wouldn't have air conditioning seventy years later. It was just too expensive.

None of the schools I went to for all twelve grades had air conditioning as I was growing up. Keep in mind that I attended school in Miami, Florida where the humidity was sky high and temperatures were sometimes... unfortunate. The combination of the heat and humidity often made me sad. We had windows we could open, but that's not always the same thing.

We had no air conditioning at home until I was in my mid-twenties. We bought this house for a staggering $12,500 and I installed a used air conditioner. Whoo-hoo!

It wasn't so much for the cooling, but I had to keep the windows closed because I was working the midnight shift at Eastern Airlines and I had to sleep during the day. You can get used to anything, if you have to.

Notice in this photo that the sidewalk and street are wet but the sky is already clear. Is that Miami weather or what!

Notice also the 1965 Oldsmobile Delta 88 in the driveway. That was my first air conditioned car. Until then, it was 'rollin' down the windows'. They called it 4-60 A/C.
Four windows down at sixty miles an hour. Hah!!

The used window A/C unit I got was a big one, big enough to cool the whole house. But I hated the way window units looked and they were noisy and drippy. So I installed it on an inside wall exhausting into the utility room. I cut a hole to drain the water and voilĂ , the system worked for me for years.

Here's a photo of Deb striking a pose and you can see the air conditioner stuck right in the concrete block wall in what we laughingly referred to as the 'dining room'.

Alright now, take a moment... stop and think what it would be like with no air conditioning and remember that it's only been a few years that we have had this luxury. Gave you a little chill, didn't it?

1 comment:

Leah Kleylein said...

I have a lot of good memories of summers spent and Grandma and Grandpa's where there wasn't any air conditioning. As long as there was a fan I was fine with it! I'm not quite so easygoing nowadays...