This summer I feel like I’ve had a taste of what it would be like to live on Mars. The way I act about going outside you’d think that my house is some sort of life pod and that merely opening the door would cause instant catastrophe. As I gaze outside, sensing that it’s only a matter of minutes before the desiccated grass spontaneously bursts into flames, I wonder what my ancestors thought of this place when they first arrived on covered wagons from the lush land of Illinois. Clearly projecting my own modern lingo onto them, I imagine their letters back to kinfolk up north going something like, “Dude, WTF is up with this weather????”
In an attempt to prove that the problem here is not that I’m a whiner but rather that I am trying to live in an area that is entirely not suitable for human life, I have developed the following list:
- Computer weather programs use increasingly dramatic icons to summarize the forecast, like a red thermometer, a red thermometer on fire, a sun with an exclamation point, a sun with sunglasses, a sun with sunglasses and a red exclamation point on fire, etc.
- The native peoples had to resort to eating cactus.
- You can never decide whether you’re more terrified of the rattlesnakes, the water moccasins, the wasps, the tornadoes, the golfball-sized hail, the black widow spiders, the brown recluse spiders, or the scorpions.
- The scorpions living in your house think it’s too hot to be outside.
- Your wine drinking routine has become: grab the glass by the stem, swirl, smell the bouquet, fish out the gnats with your finger, sip, and brush away the ants that have descended upon the droplets that spilled on the table.
- You consider getting the Anointing of the Sick before you walk to the mailbox, just in case you don’t make it there and back.
- You don’t want your toddlers to wear loose clothing during the springtime for fear they’ll become airborne from the gale-force winds.
- Even local nerds don’t think “hot enough for ya?” jokes are funny.
And there you have it. If all of these conditions describe the area in which you live, as is the case with me, you might live in a climate that is not hospitable to human life.
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