THE OLD NEW NORMAL, Chapter Two: The Hot and Cold Of It

By Liz McLeod
Again Your House Manager
 
“These climactic oscillations must end!” roared Miss Carol T. Cat as I shuffled thru the back door. Scarcely waiting for me to toss my jacket aside, she planted herself before me, and fixed me in a steely gaze. “I AM COLD,” she declared. “COMFORT ME AT ONCE.”
 
“Wow,” I replied. “Not even food first. You really *must* be cold.” I dropped my jacket over her. “Happy?” I snorted.
 
From beneath the jacket, I could hear a growl. “Impudent puppy!” she grumbled. “I direct that you turn on the heating system at once.”
 
“Now wait a minute,” I retorted. “It’s the middle of July! Turn on the furnace in the middle of July? You think I’m made of money?”
 
“No doubt soft currency,” sneered Miss Carol, not so chilled that her wit was dulled, “if the sponginess of your middle avoirdupois provides any indication.”
 
I disregarded the thrust. “Don’t worry about it,” I replied, reaching inside the refrigerator for my lavish supper of the evening, three slices of cheese. “Tomorrow it’s s’posed to be hot again. Gonna get back up into the 80s, an’ we’ll be back in the 90s again before you know it.”
 
“Monstrous!” hissed Miss Carol, making no effort to emerge from beneath the jacket. It’s a very comfortable jacket, after all, and what is a cat if not an eternal seeker of comfort? “I direct that you make preparations for this intolerable heat wave at once. Prepare several cold, wet washcloths with which you may gently soothe me as I struggle with the heat. Or, alternately, purchase adequate home air conditioning for this stagnant hovel.”
 
We’d been over the “whatta you think I am,  made of money?” schtick before, so I let that one pass. But I did pause to reflect on how fortunate we are at the Strand to have such an impressive air-conditioning and air-exchanging system.  During the worst of any heat wave, you know that when you visit us at the Strand you’ll be relaxing in solid comfort for the entire duration of your visit. And especially since the upgrade of our temperature control module, you’ll notice that conditions are much more level than they used to be. We all remember the days when veteran Strand patrons knew to bring along a sweater on hot days, because the old control system tended at times to overcompensate –but our new module maintains the theatre temperature much more evenly. There are fewer “cold spots” in the house than there used to be, and while it’s still a bit warmer in the balcony than it is on the main floor, the difference is usually less pronounced.  We’re happy that we were, thanks to the outstanding community support of our members and donors, able to pay for the not-insubstantial cost of this long-deferred upgrade project, and we know you’re going to enjoy it as well – not just to ease your concerns about air quality during the pandemic, but as a permanent, long-term improvement designed to enhance your every visit to our theatre.
 
Just don’t expect me, though, to come around to gently soothe you with a damp washcloth on a hot day. I regret that I must reserve that level of service only for Ridiculous Fat Barrel Cats.
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