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Of dead air conditioners and revolutionaries
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My upstairs air conditioner is dead. After nine years of flawless cooling, it revolted, just in time for the Fourth of July. But instead of issuing a declaration of independence, my air conditioner just fell down and died with no fanfare. Do you know how hard it is to live in the South without air conditioning? Call me pampered and spoiled, but a 90 degree house is no picnic.

I think easy access to cool air has weakened our generation. Our ancestors didn't have air conditioning. They slept with the windows open and roughed it. What if Paul Revere had owned an air conditioner? "It's so hot outside tonight. Let someone else ride into town and scream about the Red Coats. I'm staying here with my iced tea." What if George Washington had a Carrier or Trane or any of the other air conditioner brands? "Martha... I honestly don't think those tea taxes are worth getting all that excited about. Let's just sit here and enjoy the cool air." If our famous Revolutionary War heroes had thought like this, we would have a bunch of dead kings on our currency. And we wouldn't buy fireworks in early July.

Thank goodness our forefathers weren't afraid to sweat for a good cause. Revolutionaries, regardless of cause, don't expect comfort. Look at Cuba's infamous dictator. Early Castro photos show an angry revolutionary greasy with sweat. If Kennedy had really wanted to end Castro's rule, he should have skipped the Bay of Pigs and given him a Sears window-unit air conditioner for his bedroom. Fidel would have stayed home in his green pajamas, and the island would have become just another tourist trap with big casinos and air-brushed-T-shirt shops. Cool air weakens the revolutionary spirit.

Speaking of Fidel, I once flew with his estranged daughter Alina, who was mobbed by reporters when we landed. I don't recall seeing a drop of sweat on her, so I guess she wasn't much of a revolutionary threat. Come to think of it, I'm not either. As a rule, revolutionaries don't own air conditioners. However, if you know one who does and who lives around here, can you introduce me? It's sweltering over here, and I'm just open-minded enough to drink iced tea with radicals... as long as they have a working air conditioner.

David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Conyers. He can be reached at