Summer Conservation Warning

Jun 22,2011

The rainy season is upon us and we have the muggy heat to show for it. They're saying summer isn't here yet, and the devil help us if that's the case. This is complicated by the current fashion of 'cool biz', in which workers in offices are allowed to remove their neckties and roll up their sleeves so that the ambient temperature can be raised a few notches in the name of cutting costs and leaving less of a carbon footprint. In compensation I leave wet smudges on every piece of paper I touch, and when I finish my workout at the gym I can wring enough sweat from my shirt to fill a PET bottle.

There was a series of heat waves that plagued New Jersey, where I spent part of my childhood, and I distinctly remember feeling normal inside the shopping mall while the moment I stepped outside was like entering a sauna.

Unfortunately, the days of finding refuge indoors of temperatures conducive to a modicum of functionality to a hot-blooded mammal of predominantly Mediterrenean extraction such as myself may be coming to an end. I was told by some of my students at the university that some forces higher up are instituting a policy of energy conservation that includes reducing or eliminating the use of air conditioning; this will not be official policy, it is said, but rather will be something akin to strong suggestion, with punishments such as the evil eye and lashes with a wet noodle levelled at transgressors. Personally, I can't sleep without the cooler blowing on my face, and this is not least because attempting to induce comfort with an electric fan and open window does more to allow mosquitoes full access to a helpless feast--I simply can't stand the heat.

For the unitiated, mosquito coils are a wondrous concoction of North Asian chemical science, and a type of incense noxious only to mosquites, sold in round coils that can go burning through the night. Unfortunately, if you happen to be one of us who chose his lodgings based on size because he is a single male who prefers housekeeping to occupy as little of his time as possible, these coils produce enough smoke to fill the entire abode and make sleep impossible. Hence, the 'cooler', so-called.

Word is that owners of buildings are going to send notices to their tenants that the use of electricity, particularly in the form of that beloved device that keeps my life from being a living hell in the summer months, be curtailed. If, as summer deepens, my posts take on an increasingly curmudgeonly and vindictive tone, you have been warned.

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