CATEGORY: COL Columns (Journal)

AUTHOR: HARPER

THE AIR UNIT BEGAN GOING BUMP IN THE NIGHT

Things that go bump in the night normally don't bother me, at least not much, and I haven't seen hide nor hair of any ghosties or ghoulies or long-leggity beasties in many a moon.

But strange noises have created no small amount of grief in the past few weeks, most of them emanating from the central unit of the heating/cooling system at the Harper Hilton, a unit installed in April to replace one that had been there since Hector was a pup.

I heard a "whoosh" sound when the new unit clicked on, plus some lower-decibel whishings and hissings and hummings that were foreign to my ears. After asking a couple of young men in my clan about the sounds, I heard different reasons - this new machine was A: simply different from the old unit, B: larger than the old unit, or C: my tired old ears were deceiving me, or D: and so on.

Until really hot weather arrived some days ago, the unit ran very little - and lulled by the above assurances that t'was all in my mind, I had become accustomed to the whooshings and whishings behind that door in the hall.

But fast on the heels of the hot weather came indication that all was not well, that the new unit was not doing an adequate cooling job. Technicians came, first Wayne Scroggins and then Heath Betts, and then Wayne again.

After hearing my descriptions of its whoosings and whishings - and looking into the innards of the central unit - Wayne attempted to put his diagnosis in language I could understand and almost did. Then a few days later, Heath did the same.

Seems that something was locked in an "on" position and should not have been, hence the unit was giving itself conflicting cues.

And all should be well now... unless the outside unit has to be replaced... and it, too, is almost as old as Hector.

Wayne and Heath have been prompt in coming to my aid - friendly, polite, efficient, helpful - and I am grateful that their expertise and reliablity will keep air-conditioning going at the Harper Hilton during what promises to be a long hot summer ahead.

But I hope it's long time before I have to descibe any more strange mechanical noises.

By the way, the bump-in-the-night is from times when our ancestors took such things seriously, and the "Book of Common Prayer" says, "From ghosties and ghoulies and long-leggity beasties, and things that go bump in the night, Lord protect us."

My limited mechanical knowledge causes more grief than supernatural occurrences, cars being way ahead of air-conditioners in creating havoc.

Merlene Reedy was with me Friday when we headed for Bruce, where I spoke at the annual Rotary Club awards banquet. We arrived a few minutes late, having gone a ways toward Oxford, and then back to Pontotoc to take the proper road.

I have a penchant for taking the wrong arm of the Y out of Bruce, and one night thought I was lost on a time warp, but I've met so many great folks and love to go there. Friday was no exception.

With Merlene navigating, we left Bruce on the right road. But the car headlights didn't seem to be changing from high- to low-beam properly... and a dash light kept flashing on and off... and I heard a peculiar noise....

And halfway home, Merlene said , "Phyllis, it's about time for you to get a new car."

I changed the subject, assuring myself and my friend that the car telephone would summon help if needed, and that she ought to call Mickey Loden and get one for herself.

But now I keep listening... and my washer and dryer and water heater and... All these things have been around, if not since Hector was a pup, at least since he was a very young dog.

Phyllis Harper is Daily Journal feature editor.

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