Ambience Adjustment


Have you ever been in the reading room when the wind shifts from the prevailing westerly to the ominous southerly?  Maybe you have but you didn’t know what was happening.  All you knew was that the windows started to rattle in their casings like nothing you ever heard before.  Like the room was getting ready to explode.  It’s loud.  Really loud.  The first time our architects heard it they got all pasty around the gills.

We were used to the noise.  The old librarians came up with a way to stop the racket.  They carefully hung small wooden shims on the parting boards, so when the wind shifted they could go around and jam the shims in to wedge the sashes tight.  It was low tech but it worked, or it worked until the windows got so loose in their casings that the wedges wouldn’t jam.

If you never heard the racket – and you couldn’t miss it when it happened – it’s too late.  You’ll never hear it.  Part of the hang-the-expense facelift is a rework of the windows, including interlocking weatherstripping that will last forever.  The windows will be mute for all time.

There’s still the shredder.  And the bloody phones.

-Nemo Wolfe

Published in: on August 28, 2009 at 9:27 am  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Outrage! Humbug! Waffle King!

    To think that the Merc is willy nilly putting tens, if not twenties, of shims out of work. In this economy?

    At least have the decency to have given them a lofty severance.

  2. PS I shall expect a written note of apology to appear in the colored supplements this Sunday.

  3. Did I say we would remove the wedges? I did not. We will leave them to baffle future generations. No apology needed, and none offered.

  4. Another question has drifted into my addled, idle mind: will the card catalog be kept as a museum piece?

  5. “No room! No room!”
    Lewis Carroll

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