1. Do the monkeys have it?

2. You told them, didn’t you?

3. Do you want to sell that?


According to the news broadcast, it was shaping up to be the hottest day of the year. I wasn’t really surprised because October in southern California tends to be on the warmish side, but I did think that the Santa Ana winds might have held off until I got the A/C fixed.

We knew the system had a few problems earlier on, but Henry kept saying he’d have it all put to rights by the time the really hot days showed up. Henry’s a pretty good guy overall, but he tends to put off these little projects until the parts he needs come on sale at his buddy Al’s hardware store. Since Al almost never holds a sale, we end up with a whole lot of unfinished DIY projects.

I wasn’t going to let that happen again this time.

“Get your sorry self over to that telephone and call a service company, “I told Henry. “It’s going to be close to 100° today—Wally Weatherman said so—and I don’t plan to spend the evening sweltering in this place.”

You might think that was a little rough, considering that I am generally the very mildest of people, but I was unusually annoyed and I didn’t mind telling him so.

“Okay, okay,” Henry answered back. He went into the front hall and came back carrying a phone book. I left him to it, and walked to the kitchen to start some more ice cubes for tea later. I wasn’t gone more than three or four minutes and when I came back I heard him on the phone. He sounded excited.

“Do you want to sell that? How much?” He was scribbling notes on one of those little tiny Post-Its (a purple one) and I couldn’t quite see what he was writing. Somehow, though I didn’t think the conversation was going in the direction of “Come right over and repair this.”

He hung up with a smile on his face and I instantly felt a cold shiver run across my back. It was the last cool thing I felt that day.

“Are they coming?” I asked him.

“Are who coming?” was his reply.

“The repairmen, of course. What did they say? You told them, didn’t you?”

Henry’s smile slipped just a little, and he moved slowly toward the other side of the room.

“Well,” he said, “I didn’t exactly call the repair service. Wait a minute!” He held his hands up in front of him to ward off the evil intentions he might have feared from me. “I called my friend Josh, you remember him? I know he has an old unit in his garage. They stuck it out there when they got the big new one. He might be willing to sell it to me cheap and we can just replace ours.”

He looked hopeful, but I wasn’t sure if he was thinking