Something was wrong — my air conditioner was out.
The problem was so pressing that my wife and I actually went to the trouble of finding the phone book and got to work on calling repairmen.
Something had to be done.
The temperature the night before had crawled into the 80s, making sleep impossible.
The fan was on full blast and sheets and blankets were tossed aside, still, it was no use.
There was no way I would make it through two sleepless nights.
After a series of calls, we finally got a repairman to the house.
Within five minutes he had found the problem. I don’t really remember what it was.
He told me what had happened and even showed me what had caused me to break a sweat in my own home. The fact is, I didn’t hear anything past ‘Your air conditioning should be working now.’
He could have charged me $1,000 and I would have gladly paid it.
Back in the house, I basically fell down face first in front of the nearest vent.
I was reminded of that air conditioner problem last week when we stopped by the USS Alabama Battleship in Mobile on the way home from the beach.
Looking back, I don’t remember a sign in front of the ship that read, “Beware! No Air!”
There should have been one.
The ship hasn’t been used in quite a while, leaving plenty of time to put in some window units.
No such luck.
By the time we wrapped up our tour through the bottom deck, everyone we encountered looked like they had just completed mowing their lawn on July 4th. We all had sweat-soaked shirts.
Thermometer readings in the bowels of the ship were in the 90s. Had there been a splash-pad down there, we would have all gladly ran through without even thinking about it.
Luckily, the other two decks of the ship were cooler.
I left the USS Alabama with new respect for the men and women who served on the ship.
Tight quarters and no air conditioning is not a good mix for any group of people.
I am going to be reminded yet again of the comfort of air conditioning next month when high school football practices start across the state.
I’m only at the practices for a few minutes and I realize how hot it can get — and I’m not wearing shoulder pads or a helmet. I have respect for the kids who brave the temperatures to show a little school pride — no matter the wins and losses.
In this day and age it’s a lot easier to stay in the air conditioning playing video games. Forget the games, all I need is the AC.
Johnathan Bentley is the Sports Editor of the Daily Mountain Eagle. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.