Last week I needed to take some time off to get ready for Mothers Day weekend. Which meant hiding out in a hotel suite, watching chick flicks, eating chocolates and strawberries, while hoping my children wouldn’t track me down.
I came back to my special little place in the world, affectionately known as hell, to find that today’s high was set to be in the 70s. I went to sleep with the a/c blowing as I sweated, only to wake up freezing. This is the bi-polar personality of Arizona. Every Spring and Fall, Arizona plays the hot and cold game. For weeks now, I have been packing and unpacking the winter trunk.
The winter trunk is not what you think. No gloves, scarves, or wooly coats. It just means clothing with long sleeves and slightly thicker material, as opposed to my halter tops and Daisy Duke shorts. I will now pause as you try to get that image wiped out of your mind…….
The local idiot newscasters are always surprised every year by any change in weather. They are never happy with anything that resembles pleasant weather. I remember one beautiful late Spring day, many, many years ago as I made my way from the cool breezes and tranquility of Northern Arizona back to Dante’s Inferno, when a voice from a Valley radio station excitedly yelled, “We’ve made it to 100 degrees!!!!” Yay? That’s like getting excited that you have a headache. You know it’s going to happen at some point, but you shouldn’t be looking forward to it.
Within weeks of the initial ‘We’re burning in an oven’ dance, which may really be about not being about to keep your feet on the ground for too long without sizzling like a piece of bacon, the whining begins . “It’s so hot!……When will it cool down?…..We can’t believe it’s the middle of July and it’s been over 110 degrees for ten days. When did something like this ever happen?” Maybe….last year?
Then, August begins and we might get relief for a few hours out of the month. Monsoons are described as “seasonal winds that bring torrential rainfall”. Also known as, “wasn’t the sun just here a moment ago and who installed the outdoor shower”? Being in the Valley, the monsoons have a few ways of playing tricks on us. It will rain throughout the rest of the state and the moisture will take a trip to see what our dust bowl looks like. Which means, we swelter twice as much and those of us who enjoy our swamp coolers, get to pay four times as much in tributes to our local electric company, when we are forced to start using our air conditioners. Or, breaking news will cut into my favorite television shows just to report that three drops of stray rain were spotted somewhere around Cave Creek.
When we do get a visit from the rain gods, we celebrate. We dance around in the streets. We splash in the rain. We pretend we’re Gene Kelly. Then, the downpour stops, some transformer miles away is hit by lightning and we sit in the hot, sticky darkness wondering when we can use our A/C’s again.
Meanwhile, the local wing-a-dings are reporting that parts of Tempera and Messia (Tempe and Mesa, for those who don’t live here) have an outage, but if we keep watching, they will report on when power has been restored.
Which part is more of annoyance, do you think? That the news will inform me of when to expect my power on when I cannot look at the news or that broadcast journalists go to school for years just to learn how to mispronounce the names of the towns they are reporting on? If you are going to live someplace and talk about it, it makes you look less like a fool if you can take five minutes to properly pronounce the local names.
Is it the heat that fries the brains of our newscasters, like the eggs in the parking lot in the summer sun or is bubble headedness a requirement to report news to a live audience?
I’ve already decided.