Death by Fan

At our motel in Ulleungdo, there are two doors, the main door and the door to the sleeping area. Mother turns on the AC and I close and lock both doors and close the windows. Mother freaks out over the window being closed. I say, “The AC will work better with the window closed.” I don’t point out that she only runs the AC for five minutes at a time and I’d really like the room to cool down.

When I wake up in the morning, the inner door is open. I know I locked it, so it couldn’t’ve drifted open by itself. I wonder if Mother believes in Fan Death but say nothing.


Mother keeps the house hot. Really hot. Eighty degrees and above hot. At night I sleep with a fan on. The fan is too far away to make much of a difference, but it does help a bit. Every morning, the fan is off.

Finally, one morning I say, “Mother, it’s hot. I need the fan on at night.”

“You will get too cold!”

“No, I’m too hot. I am sweating all the time.”

“You will get too cold if the fan is off!”

I nod. “OK, so do you want me to sleep without clothing?”

Mother shakes her head. “I have not been turning the fan off.”

“Who has been?”

Sister laughs. “A ghost.”

“Please tell the ghost I need the fan on.”

Mother shakes her head, “You need to leave the door open.”

I have never closed the bedroom door, because Mother has always kept the fan outside of the bedroom, but I don’t argue. “I will keep the door open,” I said, “and the window, too.”

“You are going to get too cold!”

Online, I tell Good Man about the fan issue. “I know,” he replies, “she believes in fan death.”

One thought on “Death by Fan

  1. Comment from: Helena [Visitor] ·
    The first time I heard about fan death was in the summer of ’97, right as my husband and I were getting ready to leave Korea. I’d been there for a total of about two-and-a-half years, off and on, since early 1992, and it hadn’t come up at all before that. Makes me wonder if fan death was discovered in ’97 or if nobody bothered to tell me about it before that.
    08/01/11 @ 00:05

    Comment from: admin [Member]
    Apparently Master believes in it, too. I told him it must not affect Americans, then.
    08/10/11 @ 01:10

Comments are closed.