Sunday, June 28, 2009

Dear Children: It wasn't what you think... and no, we will not pay for therapy

We have a big old ceiling fan in our bedroom... and I mean that literally. It's large and ancient.

Our bedroom was part of an addition to our house in the '70s, and for some reason, the owner decided not to add the heating and air conditioning duct work to it. This doesn't surprise me because based on a few other "shortcuts" I've found, I'm pretty sure it was the owner himself and a bunch of his friends who put the addition on the house.

Anyway, because the bedroom has no forced air, they compensated by adding an electric baseboard heater for when it's cold and a ceiling fan for when it's hot. Unfortunately, like most things that get old over time, this fan has developed a few problems of its own.

For instance, when I put it on low, it "ticks" a "tick tick tick tick" in perfect time, exactly as if I had a metronome clicking over my bed. And for a musician, that's a major problem. Imagine trying to fall asleep, but all you can hear is 20 different songs that fall into the same time as the beat your fan is tapping out. It's the exact same reason we don't have any analog clocks in our house. Do you have any idea how many songs are written to 60 bpm? I know, it's insane!

But that's not the fan's worst problem.

If you put it on high, it wobbles and swings back and forth violently and makes a horrible "thump thump thump" sound like an injured helicopter trying to take flight. It's really rather frightening. In fact, we have actual concerns that if we leave it on high, it will break itself loose from the ceiling and decapitate us in our sleep, leaving two severed heads on our pillows for our kids to find in the morning.

blades of death

So the other night, right as I was drifting off to sleep, Charli decides she's too hot and can't sleep. This of course translates to, "honey... will you turn on the fan?"

Knowing full well that the low speed wasn't going to cut it, I went straight for the high setting and jumped back into bed.

[thump thump thump...]

"NO!" Charli screams at the top of her lungs. "THAT'S TOO FAST!"

[thump thump thump...]

"Shhh... quiet!" I whispered. "The kids are right outside the door in the living room."

[thump thump thump...]


[thump thump thump...]

"Ok ok... stop yelling! I'll turn it down."

But I'm pretty sure I was too late, because as soon as I turned the fan down I noticed that the TV volume in the other room had been turned up 10-fold, as if to hide unwanted noises coming from a certain parents' bedroom.

Of course I could have just been paranoid, but I still didn't have the guts to stick my head out the door and ask them to turn it down.


rick said...


mom said...

Too funny!!! Can't wait to read the comments you're going to get!!!

Unknown said...

That was awesome. The code in our house is, "Turn up your radio."

Mooselet said...

Bwahahahahaha!!! That made me laugh so hard I was wiping away tears.

Theresa B (of Nebulopathy) said...

I laughed out loud. But hey, maybe they'll show a little more respect now, hm?

JD at I Do Things said...


I can't stand ticking either, and the Blades of Death photo is EXACTLY why I didn't install a ceiling fan in our bedroom (even tho we need one).

So I'm just wondering: is it common in your household for Charli to scream about "that thing" hitting her in the head? I'm picturing the kids kind of rolling their eyes and turning up the TV.

Anonymous said...

Lol that's great!!!! When my kids were little when we wanted to get dirty we'd tell the kids we were going to fight crime in our bedroom to explain the noise and told them it was dangerous so they had to stay as far away as possible hahahaha.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

rick - I agree... a wobbly out of balance fan IS disgusting!

mom - Better cover your eyes mom. I have a feeling people are going to start providing TMI.

gette - That's pretty impressive... that you have a code.

mooselet - Thanks. It seems a lot funnier to me now.

Theresa B - Are you kidding? I have 3 teenagers. I won't see respect for at least another decade.

JD - You bet. Doesn't even faze them anymore.

badasssushi - Ooh... imagine the possibilities! Who gets to wear the cape?

Anonymous said...

OMG, Jeff - only you can make me burst out laughing as I sit alone in my office! TD

Anonymous said...

My wife and I call it folding socks.

Nothing like doing the laundry on a hardwood floor. ;)

PatKG said...

Time for a trip to Home Depot... Call Al and Jackie to help you put it in! :-)

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

Teri - I suppose that's better than bursting out into laughter in a room full of co-workers.

anon - See... this is what I warned my mom about in my first comment. ;-)

PatKG - Thanks for volunteering them. I'm sure they'll appreciate it ;b

Kathy said...

Depending on what position you sleep in, it's really not your head that the fan will take off if it flies free. It's ... .er ... um ... other things. Please, for so many reasons, don't turn that fan on high again!

Dream Master said...

Your " QUESTION " --- --- --- "Do you have any idea how many songs are written to 60 bpm?


60 BPM is the SAME beat as the NORMAL At Rest Heart Beat. Meaning a stated of warmth, good feeling, relaxation, peace..... THINK about it the NEXT time you hear a SLOW sone

Bill said...

The difference between a fan and a fan dancer is that one is better on, and the other is better off.

Ed said...

You should have stumbled from the room, looking completely disheveled and spent walked to the kitchen and fixed a large glass of water--downed it and as you stumbled back to the bedroom told the kids--"turn that damn tv down. We're trying to sleep in there!"

Michelle said...

Oh I love it, I love it! Your poor kids. We have issues with our -- far newer -- fan, although I fixed the main one. Our fan doesn't go past medium, but fortunately we at least have a/c in our room :) Have your children spoken to you since?

OMG my word was caroused! How perfect!

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

kathy - Sorry, I sleep on my stomach... but nice try!

dream master - Wow, thanks ... I really didn't expect to actually learn something on this post.

bill - I'll get back to you my response... as soon as I figure out what you're talking about.

ed - Could I at least put my pajamas back on first?

michelle - Sure, my kids speak to me all the time... "Dad, I need some money. Dad, I need a ride. Dad, I need..."

Bill said...

Your mother said that none of her boys would know what a fan dancer was!

Maureen said...

Which is why I will never own a ceiling fan... I have always imagined those things flying off out of control.

Ed said...

Suprised the former addition builder hadn't duct taped the leaf blower up there...

United Studies said...

Hahaha...oh this brings back memories of me being a teenager and living at home. Bad memories.

Roger Miller said...

An answer to your question; 765,982 songs are written/sung to 60 BPM.


I know what a fan dancer is. :)

Babs-beetle said...

Hahahaha! I laughed so hard I choked!
And JD's comment - **is it common in your household for Charli to scream about "that thing" hitting her in the head?** Hahahaha!

Mom Thumb said...

I agree you should keep that thing away from her head. You might think about replacing that fan, though. Our living room ceiling fan in our last house DID fall out of the ceiling while the girls were right under it. It only fell a couple of feet and was hanging by wires, but it was a significant emotional event.

Phyllis said...

That is very funny and made my morning. I am just happy that my daughter's bedroom is down the hall and we have A/C.

Heather said...


Unknown said...

I'm less concerned about your reputation among the kiddies and more that you can't blog without a head.

Also, I imagine between the helicopter noise and the metronome, you probably end up with the whole score of Miss Saigon in your head. :)