Milo the bulldog cools down with a treat from the Big Scoop Saturday, July 18. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Sarah Simpson Column: New fan beats the heat and catches the children

So, the summer heat seems to have arrived for good.

We’ve already stocked the house with freezies of varying nutrition values — some coloured with things like beet juice and others, no doubt, with red dye No. 5. We’ve got cotton candy ice cream in the freezer but also frozen fruit for our Swirlio machine. You know, a nice mix of quality and garbage.

So far we’ve been to the the lake a couple of times and the other day we spent several hours playing at a spot on one of the area rivers that I’m not going to tell you about because we were the only ones there and it was glorious and I don’t want to give away our secret spot.

As you know, we like going out for ice cream. The other day outside of the Big Scoop we met Milo, the bulldog, who was having an ice cream date with his owner. Vanilla for Milo, chocolate for his date.

We’re all doing our best to stay cool as things heat up. And the worst (the hottest) has yet to come. I’m already cranky about it.

I’m not a fan of the heat. As such, I really am a fan of fans. Fans can be so helpful. We’ve got ceiling fans in all of the bedrooms because I was fearful when the children were tiny babies that they would overheat, but elsewhere around the house, we’ve made due with a couple of smaller fans. Until this year, that is. This year I got a big, new fan for our main living space. It’s much sturdier than our old broken pedestal fan and a lot less noisy than an airport-noise-sounding box fan that’d we’d been using.

If the fans mean we don’t have to go sleep in the basement with the spiders, I’m all about it. It’s definitely cooler down there, but as a column I wrote last year reminds us: “You’re never alone in the basement.”

SEE RELATED: You’re never alone in the basement

Anyway, a couple of months ago I splurged on a tall, tower-like oscillating fan because I was tired of the noise and how much space our fans took up. (Let’s be honest: I was also trying to avoid the basement.)

The perk of this new fan is that it comes with a remote control.

I’m not sure I’ve actually used the remote control though. By their very nature, you need to be within a certain range to even benefit from a floor fan so I wasn’t really even sure of the need for the remote.

Even so, my husband and I have found one unanticipated benefit.

The other day I was hanging out on the floor with the children, likely playing Transformers or Lego or something to that effect.

The time came for their favourite TV show so one of the kids grabbed the TV remote and turned the TV on. Unbeknownst to us, because the fan is pretty quiet and we’d just turned on the television, I didn’t realize until later that the TV remote had also turned on the new fan. The kids had no idea it’d happened.

I guess the two remote control frequencies matched? I don’t know how it works but when I was quite young, I remember being able to jingle my mom’s keys and it would change the channel on our old television set but what was back when the old TVs weren’t flat.

I tested my theory later and I was correct about the TV remote controlling the fan, but when I told my husband, he didn’t quite believe me. Given it’s not that big of a deal we just forgot about it and went on with our evening.

Later that night it took some serious effort, significant patience, and a lot of chapters of James and the Giant Peach (We’ve finished that one and have moved on to The Witches, if you’re following along) but we’d finally gotten the kids down to bed and settled in on the couch with our ice cream (don’t tell the kids) to chat.

The TV was off.

We were just enjoying the silence together when out of nowhere the fan turned on.

I started to laugh.

My husband was confused momentarily. We thought we’d heard footsteps upstairs and indeed the fan turning on was proof.

It turned out our son had quietly crept out of his room and into the master bedroom, where he then climbed into our bed, made a fort with our pillows, and turned on our TV.

To his credit, he’d turned the volume down really low but he was shocked when we arrived at the door to our bedroom to bust him.

How’d we know, he wondered. The fan. It had turned out that the upstairs remote control was also on the same frequency of the fan and when the fan turned on downstairs we knew something was afoot upstairs.

Busted, kid.

Using fans to beat the heat: cool.

Using fans for busting your kid: even cooler.

ColumnistComedy and Humour

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Milo the bulldog cools down with a treat from the Big Scoop Saturday, July 18. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

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