Fans are like bicycles, simple but complicated to draw, and perfectly iconic, suitable for the metaphorists bag of tricks. What can a fan represent? What can't it represent? I was always afraid of fans, especially ones like the one depicted here which practically came with instructions on where to insert fingers to have them lopped off. Thousands of dolls, toy soldiers and small insects have met grisly ends in fans like this. I never harmed anyone or anything; I didn't need to. I could picture what would happen. A fan is a strangely violent instrument for cooling you off.