It’s been obscenely hot in Columbus recently. We’ve had the appalling combination of stifling temperatures, high humidity, and sunshine that make you feel both broiled and wilted at the same time. Under such conditions, any rational person lingers inside, where they can enjoy the blessings of air conditioning.
Yesterday some friends and I went to a fundraiser at a local business that doesn’t have air conditioning. (Who knew that such places still exist?) They did, however, have a big industrial-sized fan that was running at peak speed. Fans really aren’t an adequate substitute for air conditioning. In reality, they mostly blow the hot air around. But any breeze is preferable to sweltering in the hot, dead air, and when there’s no alternative a gigantic fan that’s blasting out air currents at close to hurricane speeds will have to do the trick.
I grew up in a house that didn’t have air conditioning, and the room UJ and I shared always had a window fan during the summer months. It was loud as hell and didn’t really make the room that much cooler, but it was fun to talk through the spinning blades and hear your voice emerge, chopped up and garbled, from the other end.
Yesterday I resisted the temptation to talk through the fan again, but after standing for a bit to the side of the room, and feeling like we were going to melt into the floor like the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz, we shamelessly moved directly in front of the fan. We tried to avoid completely blocking the air currents, in deference to the other people in the room, but the interests of self-preservation in the face of the blazing heat kicked in and overwhelmed our sense of social decorum. We weren’t the only ones who were repositioning ourselves in relation to the fan, either. As the gathering went on, people were drawn to the fan’s wind tunnel effect like moths to a flame.