24 June 2009

[Imported] Things that were poorly designed - part 1

Last week, my mom got me a window air conditioner for my room because she was tired of me freezing her out at night with the house a/c and tired of all the heart attacks she was having over the electricity bills (and then all the hospital bills for the heart attacks). Plus, all my mom's suffering was in vain anyway, because I was still burning up as though my bed was the surface of the sun. Or maybe my bed was floating somewhere in the corona of the sun. During the red giant phase. In summer time.

In other words, I WAS STILL HOT.

Now with the window a/c, I set it to 65 degrees (as cold as it will go) and put the ceiling fan on full blast, and I'm still quite warm. But it doesn't feel like a sauna, at least, so I guess it will do.

And I don't really get it, because I freeze during the day. We have it set to 75 degrees while we're awake, and I usually wear a two sweatshirts and pairs of pants, three pairs of socks, a parka, and a balaclava, and then I huddle, shivering, underneath an electric blanket.

But yeah – window air conditioner. We had to take the window screen out to put the a/c in, of course, and until yesterday the screen was just sitting around my room because there's some old adage about discarding screen too soon and becoming a goon, or swallowing a spoon, or beware the Ides of June. Something like that. Yeahhhh, it's a really old adage, so don't feel ashamed if you're unfamiliar.

Okay, okay, I made all that up, and I'm just really lazy. Rather, I'm a specific kind of lazy. Too lazy to take the 43 seconds it takes to put the screen in the attic but not so lazy that I won't spend all this time trying to fool you into thinking that I'm NOT lazy with some made up story.

Does anyone else think that I'm starting to ramble a bit too much in my posts? I do.

Anyway, I took the screen to the attic, which sounds like a simple enough task, but…well, here. Let me just show you:


Now take a minute to see if you can figure out the problem before going on to the next paragraph where I tell you what it is in LOUD, CAPITAL LETTERS.

That's right, the ladder leads DIRECTLY TO THE STAIRS. EVERYONE SEE THE PROBLEM? It would be bad enough to fall down a well-placed pull-down ladder, but this ladder, THIS GENIUSLY-PLACED LADDER…if you fall down this one, ohhhh that's just the beginning of your pain, because then you have a whole flight of stairs to help you break the few unbroken bones you have left from the initial ladder-portion of your fall.

My junior year in high school back in Tennessee (and stay with me, I swear this is kinda related), I decided to put the Christmas tree up in September (the timing of my festive spirit has no relevance to the story I'm about to tell you, but I like to mention it just to point out that I really was a little coo-coo in high school, so if you knew me in high school, just think of HOW MUCH THAT EXPLAINS). Our tree was one of those pre-assembled, comes-with-the-lights-already-on trees, and it was stored in the attic above the garage, which you accessed by, you guessed it, a pull-down ladder (no stairs below, at least). To go along with my craziness, I tried to get the entire 8-foot tree down BY MYSELF while talking to my friend Sarah ON A CELL PHONE (see? CRAZY.) I did have the good sense to tell Sarah what I was doing, at least, and I said, "If you hear a crash, go ahead and call 911." I think I said it with equal parts seriousness and humor, but I had no more than finished the sentence (while supporting the entire weight of the tree as I stood half-way up the ladder) when I nearly lost my balance and dropped my cell phone, which bounced like a basketball on the concrete about three times before it flipped itself closed.

It was easier for me at that point to just push the tree back up than to take it the rest of the way down, so I did that as fast as I could so that I could get back on my cell phone, call Sarah, and let her know that I'M NOT DEAD I'M NOT DEAD DON'T CALL 911!!!

Now if I had been on the ladder here in North Carolina, the one that teeters ever so dangerously on the edge of the stairs, just think of how much more vertigo I'd be experiencing from the increased height (did I mention that this is on the second floor of the house, and it's right next to the railing which I could also topple over, missing the stairs entirely, and just crash to the first floor?), and I can just see the suddenness of dropping my cell phone being the perfect catalyst to my unsteadiness (seeing as how I nearly did lose my balance back in TN), which would have then caused me to fall down all those stairs with a heavy Christmas tree not too far behind.

Good thing I'm not crazy anymore, eh?

(Shut up.)

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