COMPUTER: Working. Private Tom B. Taker. Serial number ABY-7734-Neg. Verified.
So what follows is the truth.
COMPUTER: Subject relaying accurate account. No physiological changes.
Gee, thanks, computer! I appreciate the endorsement!
COMPUTER: Subject in error. No endorsement was implied. Non sequitur. Error. Error. Error.
Dammit, man! I’m a failure, not a negativist! Or is that the other way around?
Anyway, most folks don’t know about Starfleet’s Processed Air Training (PAT). It’s a critical part of Starfleet Academy that must be successfully completed in order to graduate. It’s just like that scene in An Officer And A Gentleman where candidate Sid Worley can’t count cards in the decompression chamber. Yes, he’s got the moves like Jagger! But that doesn’t make him officer material.
Failure to complete PAT training means a washout from the academy. The harsh conditions of space exploration are such that one must be able to live on nothing but processed and recycled air. Often for five years or more at a time!
Luckily, for me, I was born to stay inside, with all windows closed, breathing the blissfully regulated and processed air that never varies in temperature by more than +/- two degrees. It’s true. My comfort zone is extremely tiny. Climate change won’t work out well for me.
Central heat and air conditioning have been an integral part of my existence for as long as I can remember.
And then I moved to the big city to a house that has no air conditioning. That makes for an interesting summer. For the first time in my life I was forced to live with the windows open. That means nothing but a screen separating me from the air (and insects) outside!
So, to me, the first month in our new home has felt a lot like camping. The air moves and varies in temperature and all kinds of stuff. It takes some getting used to. Worse, sound travels more freely than ever before.
It turns out that within 15 to 60 feet of my master bedroom windows (which gape wide open in the summer heat) I can hear no less than sounds from five different neighboring properties. (See graphic below. The X marks where I lay my sweet head on the pillow each night.)
And who the hell knew that in the big city I’d find myself sleeping about 40 feet away from the world’s most uptight chicken? CHICKEN! WTF?
Our first night in the new house, sweating like stuck pigs, we collapsed into bed. We were wiped out from the act of moving. That night, at 11:30 PM, a garden party started in the house directly behind ours. It’s about 30 feet away. Did I mention that party didn’t even start until 11:30? It was a damn long night.
It’s weird to lay in bed and be able to listen in to actual conversations by your neighbors. I’ve never experienced that before.
You’d think that partying until three in the morning would slow them down? Nope! The lawn mowers start promptly at 7:30 AM. And, get this, the neighbors are so organized they are able to coordinate their mowers, drills, air blowers, sanders, power saws, chainsaws, car stereos and car alarms for continuous coverage 18 hours a day. It’s the most remarkable phenomenon I’ve ever
If I really was in Starfleet I think I would invent an energy barrier, much like a force field, only it would be 100% effective at blocking sound waves. Then I’d surround my entire property with that field. No doubt I’d be rich.
I hope you will allow open your hearts to my plight as much as I’ve opened my windows to the outside world…