Now that the pronouncements are official, i.e., “Get Real: Hurricane Irene Should Be Renamed “Hurricane Hype,” it’s OK to whine a bit about the infernal weather around here instead of the eastern seaboard. And this despite the fact that longtime residents of Phoenix, Arizona rarely, if ever, comment on the weather.
Indeed, speaking of the hot Arizona weather, one wag advised me long ago to “just ignore it.” I suppose such wisdom is a good way for long timers to separate the ‘newbies’ from the ‘oldies’ or the native sons and daughters from the newly-transplanted. Although I have to say there really aren’t very many so-called native sons and daughters. Most everyone here is from California.
However, when a Sunday morning newscaster said today that “scorpion bites are up” because the critters are running indoors to escape the record August heat, then you know it’s hot. Yes, I double checked the report, it’s true there are “More scorpion stings reported as temperatures rise.”
“Virtue in the middle.”
And you have to know it’s blazing when even 20 plus year residents start characterizing the current climate as being “in an oven.” As for myself, I tell my out-of-state compadres, no, it’s more like being in Satan’s crotch.
Let me hasten to add, though, that despite being a lawyer, I have no first-hand knowledge of those nether regions. I also say this notwithstanding the saying attributed to the devil who finding a seat between two lawyers said, “Virtue in the middle.”
However, what I can say about that metaphor is that I imagine the devil’s lap might feel a lot like a hot oven. But I’d rather suppose it’s more like sticking your face in a hot oven to check the progress of a roast.
The winter residents known as ‘snowbirds’ start leaving at the end of April or early May and don’t come back until October. They know that summer here is really a six month affair. So don’t pay attention if someone starts telling you there are four seasons in the Sonoran Desert. It’s a lie.
There’s a modest fall and then what passes around here for a winter and then a blink-and-you’ll miss it spring, which I call early summer.
Having now lived in five different states, it’s safe to say that weather-wise, there’s no perfect place to live. All involve trade-offs.
Some places, for example, have six months of winter. No thanks. And if it’s not the bone-chilling cold, there’s the gawdawful humidity the rest of the year. And instead of scorpions, they have mosquitoes the size of humming birds. Again, no thanks.
And then you get a miserable month like this “August 2011 so far is the warmest on record in Phoenix.”
Only delusional chamber of commerce types and dissembling tourism boosters surpass the euphemistically-challenged newscasters who with a straight face characterize triple-digit temperatures as “warm.”
No, it’s not “warm.” Even the scorpions are smarter than that. They know, “It’s freaking hot.”
Photo Credits: “Hurricane Irene @NYC 110827 15:00” by eguchishintaro at Creative Commons, Flickr; “Scorpion” by Michael Wifall, xoque via Creative Commons-licensed content requiring attribution and share alike distribution at Flickr; “Satan,” as drawn by Gustave Dore, in John Milton’s Paradise Lost” through Wikimedia Commons via public domain; “devil cartoon,” by Tacosunday at Wikimedia Commons, public domain;”Phoenix” by maliciousmonkey at Creative Commons, Flickr.