Underthinking It: Top 10 Things to do with Jonathan Franzen's Freedom or Maybe Infinite Jest

Underthinking It: Top 10 Things to do with Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom or Maybe Infinite Jest

It’s one of the best books of its time. But for what?

10. Sometimes when you get a window-mounted air conditioner, you forget ahead of time to check if your house has storm windows. This isn’t a Franzen problem if you own the house really, because you can control the storm window installation and maybe take them out if it is a really huge issue. But if you are renting a house, this can be a problem, because nowadays window-mounted air conditioners are designed to catch at the top on your bottom sash while resting on your windowsill in such a way as to tilt the air conditioner out of your window without letting it fall (it helps to secure the air conditioner with a screw at the top into your bottom sash, but if you rent, again, this could be a problem).

This is important because that way water drains out of your window rather than into your house. Condensation is a byproduct of air conditioning, and that water is going to come out somewhere, so that is why window-mounted air conditioners are designed so that the water will drain out of your house rather than into your room without you even thinking about it.

But if you have storm windows, this can be a problem, because the inside rim of the storm window, even when it is open all the way, is usually going to be higher than your interior windowsill, meaning your air conditioner is going to be very precariously balanced on the rim. Also, it is usually going to be far enough forward that you won’t get the proper tilt outside the window, and the water is going to drain into your house — that is, if your air conditioner doesn’t just fall out the window and kill somebody.

The best way to fix this is to get wood blocks and drill into your windowsill so you can secure the wood blocks, rest your air conditioner safely, and tilt it safely out the window without it falling. But again, if you are renting and it is August and you are moving out in like a month, this can seem excessive, even when it is necessary.

This is where Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom comes in. You put Freedom on the inside windowsill, and rest the interior base of the air conditioner on Freedom. Sometimes you can use other books too to interfere with the airflow around your air conditioner. This will let your air conditioner rest comfortably along the storm window and tilt properly outside the window and drain outside of your room rather than into it.

I did this one time. Don’t actually do this. It is a terrible idea and really dangerous.

I forgot the others.


4 Comments on “Underthinking It: Top 10 Things to do with Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom or Maybe Infinite Jest”

  1. Haxxxorzz69 #



  2. hnarfr #

    All the really cool kids are propping up their air conditioners with Gravity’s Rainbow.


  3. petrlesy #



  4. Pierce Inverarity #

    This is just a more long-winded version of saying “DURR USE IT AS A DOORSTOP LOL”


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