DATELINE: WASHINGTON AC/DC, November 2000 — Tensions and tempers are rising as the battle for the presidency of the U.S.A. (United States of Airheatica) is down to the hand count of a few ballots in the tiny populace of Confusion County.

At stake is the leadership of the entire U.S. heating and cooling industry. At issue is whether hundreds of voters punched the wrong hole and voted for the wrong candidate.

The candidates, Tom Foolery and Chic Canery, have lodged an all-out assault on each other over the past few months, citing personal habits and leadership abilities as reasons for voting against them. At times the election rhetoric has been so thick that voters have requested dehumidifiers at each campaign stop.

Foolery, an Ivy League grad from Airvard, the oldest hvacr institution in the country, has been telling voters that his background in design-build and new installations puts him miles ahead of his opponent. Foolery believes that his side of the business is the next trend in hvacr and cites a recent example of his predictitory prowess.

“My firm won the bid on remodeling the Lincoln bedroom at the White House,” he boasted. “As a result of our unique design and time-consuming, meticulous work, we are proud to hear that the current administration has upped the rental price to $100,000 per night. If that’s not turning a profit, I don’t know what is.”

Tit for Tat

Canery, not to be outdone, had a few poison arrows to fling. The scrapping politician, a graduate of the Hottair Occupational Trade School (HOTS), cites his field experience and street sense as two reasons why he should be the candidate of choice. Canery took the opposite way to the top, choosing to dirty his hands in the field.

“Listen to me,” he said. “I was pulling 16-hour days and emergency calls on weekends while my rival was getting his shoes shined at the Gentlemen’s Club.

“He may have invented the shoe booties, but I was taking my shoes off and stinkin’ up carpets while he was chasing co-eds!”

Each candidate vented their views on ductless heating, radiant flooring, and the use of HFCs. The battlegrounds expanded into discussion on the EPA, NBA, and There were no stones left unturned as the party leaders strove to become larger than the issues, and which left many constituents dazed and confused.

“I wanted to hear Canery’s views on raising the industry standards on efficiency ratings and he wound up talking about his cure for Butt Crack Bubbas,” said one Foolery follower. “And do you know what his solution was? Buy larger underwear!”

A Canery cohort lashed back. “We don’t give a hoot about efficiency ratings here on our manure farm. We care about cleaning up the environment. You can’t make decisions about that when you’re wearin’ two pounds of ‘Brylcream’ on your noggin,” (referring to Foolery’s coiffed furriness).

The issues have become secondary in these campaigns but the entertainment value has skyrocketed. Now, as our industry approaches its most delicate hours, contractors, suppliers, manufacturers, and educators are holding their collective breath.

I suggest that we revote and urge all people to write in their own choices. That way, we can be assured of no tomfoolery or chicanery in our administration.

(The views expressed here are the opinions of the author only; any resemblance to factual stories is purely a coincidence.)

Hall is business management editor. He can be reached at 248-244-6417; 248-362-0317 (fax); (e-mail).

Publication date: 11/20/2000