NUMBERS GAME: Setting the aircon temperature is a hot topic for Tracey and Bruce Devereaux.
NUMBERS GAME: Setting the aircon temperature is a hot topic for Tracey and Bruce Devereaux.

Some like it hot...really, really hot

"WHAT temperature do you want me to set the air conditioner for?” Tracey asked me the other night.

She was standing in the middle of the bus, remote in hand, seemingly ready to obey my every command.

Seemingly.

Thing is, we've been here before. I don't get to decide things like the temperature in the bus when we go to bed - something I've made light of on the odd occasion.

"I don't care,” I said, adjusting my pillow and arranging the doona and blanket between my knees so Tracey couldn't steal it.

"Whatever you want.”

For the most part that's true. I don't care. I like to be cool enough to have a doona on me. That's about it.

But if I had my way I'd probably set the temperature lower than ideal so in the morning, when the sun hits the bus, we wouldn't cook as quickly and might even get to sleep in a bit longer.

Tracey, on the other hand, likes the temperature set warmer than any human would reasonably consider. It's partly why we can never shower together: the perfect water temperature for her is within half a degree of that needed to scold the hair off a pig carcass.

As it is, Tracey still comes to bed with frozen fish fillets for feet, which she always attempts to thaw out with my help.

For anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes she moves her feetcicles up and down my legs as they leech the warmth out of one spot and then the next.

Because I'm a loving husband, I let her.

The idea, though, that I was going to get a say in what temperature Tracey was about to set our unit to was, to me, laughable.

But I must have hit a nerve when I mocked her this morning.

"Tell me,” she continued.

"You decide,” I said.

"You'll just do what you want anyway. I really don-”

"Tell me what you want!”

I could tell by her tone she was half a sentence offchanging into her cranky pants for bed and nobody wanted that. There are worse things than trying to get to sleep with cold legs.

Rather than risk her using my crotch to warm her feet I sighed and sat up a bit to stare down the bus at her.

"What are the options?” Isighed.

Tracey glanced down at her remote.

"Whatever you want. Like, 21 or 24,” she said.

"It's 20 at the moment. Ithink we need it a bit warmer or the kids will wake up cold.”

Our kids don't wake up cold. They wake up hungry. They wake up desperately needing to pee. They wake up wanting to play their electronics.

Worse, for all of those they wake up me.

"Okay,” I said, playing along, "21.”

"Twenty-one,” repeated Tracey.

"Twenty ...,” she pressed a button and the remote beeped once,”... one.”

Wait for it, I thought to myself as I turned my back on her and pulled the doona up under my chin. That final "one” was said with much doubt and many misgivings.

"You don't think maybe 24?” Tracey called up to me, the aircon unit already beeping its way up the Celsius scale.

Still, I guess it's nice to feel included in the decision-making process.

Gympie Times


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