It's official: a box fan cannot be had in San Diego. Target does not have them. K-mart does not have them. Nobody has them. At first, I thought perhaps there was a fan manufacturing crisis. Perhaps the recent heat wave was unanticipated, and there was a huge rush on the stores, which promptly sold out of fans despite marking them up to hundreds of dollars apiece. And then the fan pipeline broke, cutting off our fan supply. We were screwed. Fan manufacturers wrung their hands and wept, unable to take advantage of the opportunities for obscene profits as the San Diegans sweated and fanned themselves.
Now, I think maybe they just don't have them because it's September. This is stupider theory than the last one, though, because (a) I began looking in mid-August, which is still summer no matter where you look in the northern hemisphere and (b) this is the hottest time of the year in San Diego. We don't get shipments of parkas at back to school time, and we don't clear the shelves of fans during AUGUST. Surely distribution of such items is not so geographically blind. There's still sunblock on the shelves; they aren't still pushing sunblock in Maine, are they? On the other hand, there were utterly useless fuzzy polyester stadium blankets in K-mart, simply because it's September. I nearly got heatstroke just looking at them. I understand that you can't adapt department store stock to the short-term whims of weather, but September here is always
fan weather. And we have only one decent fan, for three windows. We used to have two, but one of ours broke when we took it apart and stuck a mirror on one blade for a home laser light show
The moral of the story is: home laser light shows are generally unwise, and buy your box fans in June.