I’d like to have a word with the guy who installed the AC vents in my house.

I don’t know if he just happened to be extraordinarily tall or if there’s actually some boring, scientific reason why it makes sense to put these things twelve feet up in the air, but I’ve got to say that it makes it pretty darned inconvenient for the guy who only remembers to change his air filters every year and a half even though the package always says “change every three months” in unrealistic print on the front.

Seriously, who can remember to do anything every three months in this on demand world of Candy Crush and reality TV that we all co-exist in these days?!

I have some general rules for changing the air filters in my house that seem to work pretty well:

  • If there are clumps of dust larger than a pencil falling out of the vent
  • If the house is 104 degrees because the AC physically doesn’t work anymore
  • If the fire marshall personally delivers to me a signed affidavit threatening to revoke my insurance policy

Any of these scenarios qualify as decent signs that it’s time for me to navigate my 10-foot ladder down these tiny, 8-foot halls to get no less than fourteen new dents in my beloved walls simply for the sake of enjoying marginally clean, conditioned air throughout my home. And I’m sure that some pulmonologists who are in bed with the ripe air conditioner filter industry would cite that it’s important for me to change my air filters according to the manufacturer’s directions because breathing dust and grime and pathogens is traditionally bad for human beings as a race…

…but it’s SO freaking high up there!!!

It’d be like expecting me to brush my teeth twice a day and then installing them conveniently in the bottoms of my feet – I’m just not down there often enough to really make it a priority, even if there is a threat of one day my foot teeth falling out of my feet and being forced to wear wooden teeth due to decades of neglect. If you want me to do it on a regular basis, you need to make it easier than, say, reheating some leftover pizza out of the refrigerator for lunch.

So yeah, I’m basically saying that if I can’t change my air filters while still half asleep, standing in my underwear in the kitchen waiting for the microwave to countdown, it ain’t gonna happen. Sorry, lungs!

And so it was with this brand of lethargic enthusiasm that I found myself dodging ceiling fans and reluctantly going where no man should go every three months, mostly to ensure that our house didn’t burst into a blistering inferno but also to ensure that my wife and child were able to breath things that weren’t dust, too. It’s a tough job being a husband and father who cares about things like breathing and sweating, but at least those twenty minutes of hard work are now behind me … at least for another year and a half, anyways!