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Sunday, June 26, 2005

Mad Dogs and Englishmen have no idea how cold is 84 degrees on the grass until you begin to pray for it...

-- Rudyard Kipling, "The Man Who Would Be King"

When I moved from California, and again from Sydney, most of the time packing was spent packing books and cataloging them. While poor Niles was packing and lugging boxes, I was sitting at the computer, entering titles into the catalog. It took forever (especially the first time) and I got very frustrated with it and several times stated that we should just dump the books in boxes and to hell with it.

"If it were up to you," said Niles, "you'd throw things in boxes randomly, and every box would be labelled 'Crap'."

"Yes," I admitted, "but we'd have been done in a day."

Cataloging them, however, does mean that I know exactly which box each and every book is in. What I don't know is where every box is in the storage compartment.

So the other day I decided I would need a few books from our storage space, and today we went to see to it. Some would call us rash, for it was 90 degrees when we set out---though only 50 percent humidity, which is quite dry. But it will be above 90 every damned day until late in September, so there was no use putting it off on that account.

So we started hauling boxes out of the space, looking for one (on the bottom, since it contained books and therefore heavy) marked "Storage 19". We found it without too much trouble, and without contracting heatstroke or screaming at one another, so the mission was accomplished without fuss. And the books were there, as advertised.

I dripped with sweat, but Niles -- the Englishman of my title, leaving me the Mad Dog, I suppose -- has something wrong with his cooling system, and merely turned a bright red.

Our storage space is not climate-controlled, but is in a metal building with only a few vents. When we found the books I took them to the car while Niles put the boxes back, and oh, the 90 degree heat outside felt so cool. And I thought of the Kipling quote above.

I apologize for the utterly trivial and pointless nature of this post.