By Robert Hughes July 20, 2012
We sit, my wife and I, huddled in a circle about 6 feet in diameter facing our little robot friend, our free-standing, 3-foot-tall air conditioner. Like a cave couple around a fire, we stare at and listen to our temperamental unit. We pretend to watch a rerun of “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,” but it’s just a sham; what we’re really watching is our R2-D2-like unit and wondering what he’ll do next.
We know it’s just a machine, but “it” morphed quickly into “he” on the Fourth of July, when the temperature hit 100 and he unaccountably shut off. I dashed around the house, checking fuses, switching surge suppressors, fiddling with dials, manipulating the exhaust hose.
Sweating and panicked, I stood over him and shook my fist. Then, without any apparent connection to what I had been doing, he came on again. This is where ignorant electronics shifts into flat-out superstition.
Keeping the AC happy is a matter of survival in Chicago summer