Mr. Wrong By Joe MacLeod

It's Your Uvula

City Paper

Well, Halloween is over, baby, and you know what that means: It's Christmas. Yeah, right now, it's fucking Ehhcks-Massss.

I got positive visual confirmation on that fact at Sears, Where America Shops. I was scoring a new humidifier, because I got the forced-air heat in my castle and it dries everything out big-time during the Heating Season, so I start waking up with this strangulating dryness-thing in the back of my throat, and in the morning I'm like, "Awwrrkk, urrrghk, ackh-haugkh-hkh-hkh, ga-hagck, hagck, agg-kch-kkcgh." Which is pretty standard for me in the morning, but when there's no humid-ness in my air supply, it hurts, OK? The heartbreak of dry uvula is no laughing matter, kids, so if you got the lack of moisture in the air filling your abode during the winter months, I strongly suggest some humidifier action.

So there, I endorse humidity. Huzzah for humidity. Go get you some humidity right now. If humidity coulda ran for president of the United States of America instead of Tweedledum and Tweedledumber, I woulda voted for it, and not waited out the network teevee-news projections to find out if it was safe for me to vote for it in my state. Nuh-uh, fuck all that Electoral College maneuvering, I woulda just thrown the lever for Humidity. Straight Humidity Party ticket, man. Just can't say enough good things about moisture in the atmosphere of one's dwelling during the Heating Season.

Makin' a change, though. Going with the "cool mist" humidifier this year, because I've been through, like, four or five of those "warm mist" ones, and they kick out all kinds of little fluffy clouds of dampness, but all the junk in the water makes the heat-thing in the little water tray get all caked up with, like, vitamins and minerals and shit, and I just can't keep the things clean enough. I run 'em damn near nonstop during the Heating Season, which is not to be confused with those artificial seasons like "fall" and "winter." It's the Heating Season and the Air-Conditioning Season, and that's it. I don't live outside all the time where the weather is, see? Animals live outside, and they can fucking have it. Most of the time I live in my house and my car and my office, and it's either too fucking hot or too fucking cold in there. It's never just about being indoors or outdoors, see? It's small-scale climate control. It's cold, so I turn up the heat, see? I'll put on a sweater or something if I'm desperate, but I don't think there's gonna be that many more trees or endangered species or layers of the atmosphere or whatever's getting depleted if I just crank that heat up a wee bit more so I don't have to bundle up, huh?

Anyway, a couple of times I tried scraping the scaly, mineral-y stuff off with a butter knife, and then of course I ruined the goddamn heating element and it would start popping the circuit breaker next to the toaster, and I simply can't jeopardize

the toast supply. So I'm in the market for a "cool mist" humidifier, which is a whole different kind of maintenance, because you need this humidifier bacteriostat gunk, which you gotta put in the water to "control the buildup of bacteria and algae in water tanks of evaporative humidifiers," which is just swell. I'm really starting to feel good about this purchase. So you need to dump this potion of "n-alkyl (60%C14, 30%C16, 5%C12, 5%C18) dimethyl benzyl ammonium chorides, n-alkyl (68%C12, 32%C14) dimethyl ethylbenyl ammonium cholrides, and inert ingredientsinto the jug of water feeding the machine that is going to humidify your atmosphere. Great. Now I'm breathing n-alkyl or whatever. Super. I'm wondering if the n-alkyl shit is gonna make me paranoid or go schizo or something, you know? I'm not really experienced at huffing strange chemical compounds in my sleep. And am I gonna be re-creating exotic jungle bacteriums and algae that are gonna rise up out of the primordial ooze of my humidifier and Walk the Earth in Search of Human Flesh? Hah?

Well, goddamn it, bacteria or no, I gotta have the humidity in my Heating Season. Life is unpleasant when my uvula is dry at sleepytime, OK? And I got a little space open on my Sears card, so I'm cruising the aisles with my new evaporative-type "cool mist" humidifier, marveling at all the different kinds of electric screwdrivers and treadmills there are to be had, and I roll up to the checkout, and a whole corner of the store that used to have lawn mowers or something in it is now the goddamn Xmas display. Already. The Heating Season hasn't even started in earnest, and I gotta look at plastic trees at Sears, Where America Shops. Be you Jew or Gentile, Protestant or Catholic, Democrat or Republican, the frost ain't even off the pumpkin yet and it's Merry Fucking Christmastime. Jesus Christ. We gotta limit this activity somehow, the way we oughta limit the elections, you know? These politicians should get three weeks before the election to beg us for their vote, and anyone who puts up Xmas decorations before Thanksgiving should have all the humidity removed from their house for one entire Heating Season.

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