Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Stakeout

Yesterday my mother called in the evening to find me sobbing into my 12th cold bath of the day and promptly and generously offered us the BEST PRESENT I WILL EVER RECEIVE. An air conditioning unit. Just thinking of it makes me cooler. (Actually, no. I am still very hot.)

Dave and I immediately rushed out to procure one. On the way, Dave told me this was a record heat wave, the likes of which has not been seen in Portland since 1981. He told me this is very unusual Portland weather. Then he noted that that's what I'd had to hear all winter.

"I don't think you're going to believe me about Portland anymore," he said sadly. Good point.

We zoomed to Home Depot, Lowe's, Sears, Costco, and Fred Meyer, in that order. We called two other Costcos and a separate appliance store. EVERYONE WAS SOLD OUT. The greeter at Costco wore a large hand-printed sign pinned to his chest stating, "We are out of AC units and fans." At Sears another pregnant lady without an AC shared her cool-down secrets with me: "I stand in front of the freezer all night with my arms inside."

We stumbled away in a heat-glazed delirium with nothing for our troubles but one minute bit of hope. After we were turned away at Home Depot, a man who worked there but was off-duty followed us out into the parking lot.

"Hey," he called out, looking around shiftily, like a drug dealer. "Did I hear you're looking for a portable air conditioning unit?"

"YES!" I shouted, thinking maybe he was going to try to sell me a stolen one out of the back of his truck or something, and feeling just fine about that.

"You did not hear this from me," he said firmly. "But they're supposed to get a shipment in tomorrow, late morning, one kind. Nothing's for sure. I can't promise. Be back here at noon. You didn't hear this from me." Then he stealthily snuck away.

Friends, I will be there at 10. "Late morning" doesn't mean "noon" to me. I will take Pixie so she doesn't melt or combust inside our HotHouse. If there are units coming, I will be first in line. I might be disappointed. Nothing's for sure. I didn't hear it from him. But it's a stakeout.


ellen said...

Same thing happened to me my first summer in Boston. I couldn't find an a/c anywhere! I talked to my parents last night (they live in the Portland area) and the report was it is HOT HOT HOT! I'm glad I've got central air. Ahhhh.

Diana said...

Good luck with finding one. I hope the shipment comes in. It makes me appreciate my central air big time. You should come here!!!!

Brog Z. said...

I know what you meant!

I work on roof top fixing people air conditioner units.

Its hot, it's about 120 degrees! I know why whole bunch of HVAC technician quit that jobs.

We also have to deal with crazy general contractor, who watch our back like madman.

Good luck!

P.S people should appreciated air conditioner! People work hard fix it and making it.

Emily said...

Oh, I was afraid of that! I hope you find one!

Emily said...

I just looked on craigslist and there are ones listed there, but they're probably all overpriced and you'd definitely want to be sure they were working properly. It would be no fun to buy an overpriced air conditioner that wasn't working properly in 105 degree weather. And craigslist kind of scares me lately too, be careful if that's the route you go. Good luck at home depot.

Jessica said...

Yeah, I looked on Craigslist, but people are selling them for the same price as new ones, and handing over $400 cash to a stranger for something that might not work doesn't sit well with me.

Jason said...

Sorry to hear about that Jessica. I hope you are able to find a unit.

In the meantime, you should consider cooling scarves (you can Google it). They are like ice packs that you wrap around your neck. We lose a lot of heat through our neck and head. I've seen them at sporting goods stores before.

If that doesn't work, you could always go to a hotel until the heat wave passes. Good luck!