I'm sure you know not to feed a Mogwai after midnight, and not to get him wet, and to keep him out of bright light. But you may not realize that a man and boy must not be left unattended for two hours when the temperature drops into the fifties.
Last night I worked late at conferences, while Hick and The Pony met up to pre-bowl for Saturday. The Pony will be taking the ACT that day. Yesterday morning, and again after school, and just before my mom picked up The Pony for the bowling alley destination, I told him, "When you get home, you or Dad will need to turn up the thermostat." Three times. The charm.
I drove home in the cold and dark. Pulled T-Hoe into the garage. Thanked The Pony, who trotted out to carry in my things. Patted my sweet, sweet dog Juno, who greeted me like I was Inman returning to Cold Mountain after an eternity traipsing the sub-Mason-Dixon Line countryside.
I walked into my happy home to find the ambiance much like that of the ice hotel I saw on The Travel Channel. Without the vodka. As soon as my eyeballs unfogged, I saw that the thermostat was cooling its bi-metallic-strip heels at 66 degrees. A temperature fit for neither Val nor beast. Pardon me while I scream, "WHYYYYYY?" in my best Nancy Kerrigan whine. Get it? Because Nancy Kerrigan was an Olympic figure skater. On ice. Which is really cold. Not because some Gillooligan jumped out and whacked my knee with a club.
There rested my warmer half in his La-Z-Boy. Wearing only a pair of tighty-whities. I guess his jeans were hanging in the garage.
"It's freezing in here! How can you sit around like that?" I kicked up the thermostat to 69 degrees. Not the 74 that I prefer, but the 69 that I can afford.
"I think it's comfortable in here." Downstairs, I could see The Pony under a zebra-striped blanket on the couch.
"I can't believe you two didn't raise the thermostat. I think I can see my breath."
"It's fine. I didn't even think about it."
This morning on my way to the kitchen to make lunches, I stopped to crank the heat up to 70. I allow myself the extravagance of an hour with that extra degree to get my blood pumping.
THE THERMOSTAT STOOD AT 70 DEGREES!
Under cross-examination, Public Enemy Number Hick admitted that he had raised it one degree before he went to bed. Because the man who lounged around in male panties at 66 degrees comfortably, who buries himself under a quilt, head and all, overnight, and who has been known to run the bedroom ceiling fan once I'm asleep...thought he needed seven hours of an extra degree of heat. He might as well have built a bonfire with dollar bills for all that's going to cost us.
Have I mentioned that I'm opening a handbasket factory?