LOST HIS COOL: Why couldn't it have been the fridge that carked it so we could go and get one of those nice two-door jobs with an ice-maker?
LOST HIS COOL: Why couldn't it have been the fridge that carked it so we could go and get one of those nice two-door jobs with an ice-maker? Tim Howard

'Wimpy' Kermie hot, bothered

AS I get older I get wimpier.

When I was a lad we didn't have air-con in the home or the car and it bothered me not one iota.

These days, as I've become soft and coddled - and because it's the middle of summer - my whole thinking universe is centred on the thought of cooling air flowing over the body.

I reckon my blood is so thin from this heat that I'd bleed out from a pin prick.

Yes, we are still without air-con and, here in MooTown, that is not a good thing! Rita remembers last year (and our first here) when we commented to the neighbours about the heat, they replied that it was actually quite mild and to wait until we got a real summer.

The first (of many) days where the thermometer nudged over the 40 mark, we headed off to the movies where we had a choice of Aquaman or some cartoon feature.

We chose the former which didn't do a lot for me, but Rita enjoyed the eye candy.

Two hours of air- conditioned comfort wasn't enough so it was on to a club for dinner which we managed to spread over another three hours.

We would have followed that formula every day but the budget doesn't extend to $100 a day just to stay cool.

Checked out the local pool but all the shady spots were taken so that was a fail.

It's not just us. The poor old maggies that have adopted us spend the days standing around under the trees panting away.

On one 43 degree-er we felt so sorry for them that we turned on the sprinkler and they all ran away from it (too hot to fly). Stupid birds!

At the start of this heat wave at least the nights cooled down to tolerable levels so, with the overhead fan spinning at 4000rpm (I wish) and a pedestal jobbie at the foot of the bed, sleeping was reasonable.

Now though, with 30 degrees at close to midnight, that's no longer the case.

We are now reduced to spending the afternoons jumping into the bath full of cold water in cossies and shirts and lying in front of fans. How some of you live in the Outback or FNQ is beyond me.

With the blasted machinery dying just before Christmas the chance of a quick fix was not going to happen. I mentioned in my last column that one bloke did come out to have a look and said he'd come back with quotes to repair/ replace the evaporative cooling unit.

We never heard back from him. Wish I had a business where I could afford to knock customers back!

So began the rounds of trying to find someone who knew what they were talking about and a repair/ replacement at the right price. To their credit, all but one business came and quoted for nothing.

The one that charged us $100 also quoted $3200 for a replacement and $2100 for a possible repair.

I say "possible” because no-one was able to tell us what had actually died.

This being the case, we decided to go for replacement and ended up shaving over $500 off that $3200. It's certainly worth shopping around.

One mob who couldn't be bothered coming over asked if the existing unit was hard wired or not. As I hadn't a clue he said that he'd quote, including a sparky to install a three pin plug and came up with $2800.

Another guy who made the effort to come and check, climbed up into the roof (what a hero!), he said, "Already got a three-pin plug. You just saved yourself $300.”

$300! For that I'd have happily climbed up there among the spiders and other creepy-crawlies and wire it on myself, legalities be damned.

Given that saving I rang the $2800 quoter back and told him the good news, figuring I'd get a price between $2500 - $2600.

"Bear with me and I'll run the figures again,” he said. "$2880.”

"Hang on mate,” said me. "You've just gone up 80 bucks by NOT having to install a plug!”

On further discussion he offered to beat the best quote by $50 and I politely told him where he could stick that 50. And so, after much deliberation, we are only two stinking hot days away from chilled bliss. Bring it on!

What really annoys us is that it was the air-con that carked it. Why couldn't it have been the fridge so we could go and get one of those nice two-door jobs with an ice-maker.

I bet you 100-1 that the next thing to go will be the washing machine. Boring! Time to climb into the bathtub. Take care of you.


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