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Posted by on May 5, 2021 in Retirement Humour |




Even with the social distancing that accompanies Covid Couple Confinement, every day is party central at our place! Welcome to the ‘Chalk Housewarming Party!’

“Gary, it is absolutely freezing in this house! Whatever temperature you set the thermostat is way too low! I’m setting it higher.”

To make her point Jan yanks off her L.L. Bean double-layer deerskin woodsman mitts with 100% merino wool inserts she wears in the house. She rubs her hands across my chin, “Feel how cold my fingers are!”

Before I can say for the umpteenth time that it is already hotter than Hades in the house, Jan is at the thermostat. She’s like a red-headed – well, okay a Clairol Medium Blonde Root Touch-up – woodpecker feeding at the backyard suet feeder. She jabs her finger at the thermostat. Each poke pushes the temperature up another degree.

“Dear I hope you realize that all your thermostat tomfoolery is turning me into one hot man. I want to rip my shirt off and expose my bare chest – even if I do wear relax fit jeans hiked halfway up to my armpits.”

“Believe me Gary, with your body it’ll be a cold day in ‘Elle’ before they feature you on their magazine cover!”

I understand Jan’s thermostat temperament – to a certain degree – because typing at a keyboard while wearing mitts can’t be easy. “Gary I am trying to type the word legitimate, and it comes out legit-a-mitt!”

Minutes later Jan shouts, “THAT’S IT!” and makes a beeline to the hallway thermostat. It is properly mounted at eye level – which according to the installation manual is ‘for convenience of men standing in their ripped underwear squinting at the thermostat through cheap $2 reading glasses.’

Our thermostat is one of those programmable models. It allows me to set the temperature, adjust the fan speed, switch from heating to cooling, control the humidity in our house, and program when we want the heat to come on and off. As well, the thermostat displays the time, day, and month – so I know how many weeks I have been trying to reprogram the damn thing!

What our thermostat cannot do is prevent Jan from increasing the heat to ‘Volcano.’

Every time Jan sets the thermostat higher, I sneak through and turn it down. All this can’t be good for the furnace which is forever starting and stopping as frequently as people enroll in Weight Watchers. Not to mention, the carpet near the thermostat is wearing thin. Note to self: when the time comes to replace it be sure to consider new ‘performance-enhancing rugs.’

With a Chalk Housewarming Party happening every day, I am having trouble keeping my cool. I need a way to discreetly turn the thermostat back down without having to walk over to it. That is when it dawned on me…

“Alexa, turn the thermostat down.”

Alexa, “Okay, playing ‘Downtown’ by Petula Clark.’


Alexa, “Okay playing ‘Downtown Train’ by Tom Wait.”


Alexa, “Okay, playing ‘Downtown’ by Lady Antebellum.”

I am gobsmacked! I am in a ‘heated debate’ with Alexa, swearing like a soccer mom.


Jan said, “Gary the only advantage to me walking to the thermostat so often is that my iPhone shows I am increasing the number of steps I take each day.”

“Honey, I am in the guest bedroom. The thermostat is set so high the wallpaper is starting to peel away from the wall. It is sliding down to the baseboards!”

Later in the day, Jan hollered, “Gary just so you know I am turning the thermostat up, AGAIN!”

“Dear I can’t hear you. I’m in the bathroom.”

Jan screamed, “Gary make sure you put the toilet seat down. You always leave it up. Please don’t leave it up.”

Alexa, “Okay, playing ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’ by Wham.”

OMG! Now Jan is singing, boogying her way to her office. I’m standing at the toilet and ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’ is blasting away! What is wrong with this picture?

I’m confused. Jan wants the thermostat turned up, and the toilet seat down.

Me? I want the thermostat turned down, and the toilet seat up! A guy I can’t win!

By the end of today’s Chalk Housewarming Party, I don’t know whether I am up or down. Neither does the thermostat.

What I do know is Jan is winning the tussle of the thermostat: she leads 78F to 65F.