The Quick Fix

I have a retired friend living on a fixed income. That means he is very careful about what he spends his money for. He lives alone in a small one room apartment that he rents. Occasionally, I knock on his door to say hello and check up on him to see that he is doing okay. It is summer now and very hot outside, so as I walked by yesterday I decided to see him, and also to get out of the heat for a few minutes. When he opened the door to let me in I was surprised to see that his window mounted air conditioner was not operating, but instead he was using what looked like some kind of homemade device that had air blowing out of it. I asked him what it was and he told me that his window unit was broken and he could not afford to have it repaired or to buy a new one, so he made his own air conditioner out of inexpensive materials he bought at the hardware store. I extended my hand in front of the air blowing out of the device and it was indeed cold, so I asked him how he did it. He explained how he bought a styrofoam ice cooler and a small electric fan. Then, he cut two openings in the cooler; one on the top for the fan and the other for the cooled air to exit. He filled it with ice and mounted the fan on top. He also had extra ice trays in his freezer for a constant supply of ice, so he could refill it every six hours. The result was an actual homemade air conditioner that was effectively keeping his small apartment cool.

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