Living Retired — ‘I’LL BE DAMNED!’
Living Retired – ‘I’LL BEE DAMNED!’
You would not describe the Chalk household last Wednesday as the bees knees.
The day was wicked hot – a heat advisory, plus record humidity – not the best day to replace the compressor on our central air conditioning system. What could possibly go wrong shutting off our air conditioning on the HOTTEST FRIGGIN’ DAY OF THE SUMMER!
“Don’t worry Jan, the installers are coming first thing this morning. The air conditioner will be off for perhaps 2 hours, tops. It will be a piece of cake – just not a frozen Baked Alaska cake!”
Within minutes of the crew arriving they said, “Mr. Chalk we have turned the air conditioning system off.” Within minutes of the air conditioner being turned off Jan said, “Gary, I am really hot.”
“Well, you are hot dear! You know what I mean. The air conditioning will be back on soon.”
No sooner than I reassured Jan everything was easy-peazy, one of the crew came running waving his arms frantically!
“Mr. Chalk we lifted a basement ceiling tile near the wall to hook into the compressor outside. Above the rafter we discovered you have a wasp nest — about the size of a softball!” That is when the other installer ran in, “No, it is the size of a football!”
Jan was working in her office and overheard the excitement. “Gary, did I hear the installers are playing football?”
The workers shone their flashlight up into the rafters on the nest. That is when wasps swarmed into the room. IMMEDIATELY the two installers and myself scrambled. We looked like Larry, Curly, and Moe of the Three Stooges bumping into each other trying to squeeze through the doorway. Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! — one of them hit me over the head with a with a black cast iron frying pan, while I poked two fingers in his eyes!
Everything came to a standstill.
The installers left – RAN! I left voicemail messages with every pest control company from here to Bee Lick Kentucky (its a real place!): “How much money will it take for you to come NOW? Please save my marriage.”
By mid-morning, I had received no return phone calls from the pest control companies – which really stung! Inside the house is sooo hot and sticky that I Googled, ‘what temperature causes wallpaper to droop from bedroom walls?’
At noon Jan and I ate lunch in the only place in the house that was ‘sort of cool’ — the basement. That is when I received the call: “Someone will be there this afternoon.” We celebrated with a dessert bowl of melting ice cubes.
Before long, the house was AFRICA HOT! I was sweating like Richard Simmons with one of those fat-burning electric vibrating belts wrapped around his waist. I was not exercising to his oldies songs. Instead, I am singing at the top of my lungs, “Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole. I feel Hot! Hot! Hot!”
“Gary, I am on a Zoom meeting with some work colleagues. They say unless you sing something by Michael Jackson you have to beat it!”
More time passed. I am so hot that I began peeling off my clothes. I stood at Jan’s office. I am wearing a white cotton shirt unbuttoned down to my waist; and underwear – nothing else. My skin glistens from my sweat. “Jan, do you think I look like Fabio posing for a romance book cover?”
Jan covered her eyes. “Gary, look more like FLABIO!”
Minutes later Jan screamed something about she cannot take the heat anymore! She appeared at her office door looking like she had been rooting through the dumpster at a Staples Office Supply Store. She is plastered with bits of paper stuck all over her body. She screamed, “Gary, everything I touch sticks to me!”
But then the real screaming began…
“Gary, the pest control man is in the driveway.”
As if that was not loud enough Jan screamed even LOUDER: “Gary, quick put your clothes back on!”
The first thing the pest control guy did was step into what looked like a hazmat suit! Jan was impressed and said, “How cool is that! I’ll post a picture on Facebook.” I said, “How HOT is that!”
Success, sort of…
The wasps are gone. But the air conditioner installers figured it will be another day before they could return to finish setting up our air conditioning!
You will not believe what happened next…
FedEx arrived with a package for me. Inside was a thick cotton hoodie — great for February, but it is August, and our air conditioning is not working. It turned out Jan won an online trivia challenge and picked the winter hoodie for me.
Immediately I slipped into — make that tried to yank the hoodie overtop my sweating body.
Despite Jan says that I look like Flabio, I am telling you I AM HOT! So to speak.