Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Big Box Fan Fan

If you aren't a big box fan fan, you don't know what you are missing! So listen up!

During our army days, we lived on the island of Okinawa in the South China Sea. All military housing had at least one window unit air conditioner. And of course, the higher your rank, the more units you had. They whirred away, night and day, and as they cooled off the inside, the outside extracted buckets of water from the humid, thick-as-aloe-gel island air. Literally, they were our lifesavers. Since this was before the days of central air conditioning, our only alternative was to soak your sheets in the bathtub, climb into bed with them over you and hope you could get 40 winks before they dried and you had to repeat the process.

After almost four years, we flew home to the states, fondly referred to as the land of the big PX. But alas, we found we had difficulty sleeping. Why was there so much noise outside, all night long? Why were birds making so much noise at the crack of dawn? Whose dog was barking all the time? Then it hit us, we have no droning machine sticking out of our window. It's way too quiet here in the good old USofA. That's when we discovered the big box fan.

We run it year round. It whirrs all night long. It is the most wonderful invention since indoor plumbing.

When we stay in a hotel or motel, we phone ahead for a box fan. If they don't have one, we ask them to buy one and put it on our bill. They only cost about $19.99 at Walgreens, but considerably more at a Hilton or Marriott. But that's OK. Without a box fan, you hear all the footfalls in the halls. Every tap tap tap of ladies calling "housekeeping" as they go about their daily routine. If your room is close to the elevator, you hear the chime every time it hits your floor. And my personal least favorite, the person next door with the voice that can be heard constantly talking. What is the deal? They must be constantly talking on the phone, because you usually only hear one incessant voice. How annoying.

When we take a roadtrip, the box fan goes in the car last so it can come out first when we reach our motel. That way you don't hear the folks who arrive at your location all night long. You don't hear the people who manage to slam 53 car doors as they move into their room. And best of all, you don't hear thunder thigh's in the room above as he/she paces the floor.

A few days ago, I discovered another reason why I am a Big Box Fan fan. I recently received a mechanical aortic heart valve. It took me awhile to realize how much it "thump, thump, thumped," because the hospital was noisy and when I came home I slept with the comfort of the box fan purring away in the corner. Then, one afternoon, I saw our two doggies snoozing on the guest room bed and I decided to join them. That's when I discovered how noisy my new heart valve was. It's a comforting sound, of course, but kind of distracting when one is looking for a quiet afternoon nap. So, I cranked up the big box fan we keep in the guest room, and soon I was sleeping right along with the two little brown furry creatures that comfort and warm me. How nice! If you are not already a fan fan, think about joining my fan club.

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