The temperature just hit 115° F and my power went out. Welcome to summer in Phoenix. Today’s high is projected to be 117°, while tomorrow’s is 120°. Mercifully, a cold wave rolls in Wednesday and temps plummet to 118°. Hopefully the power will be up by then.
The show “King of the Hill” best expressed non-Arizonans’ view of the Valley of the Sun.
The hottest temperature ever recorded here was in 1990, when the mercury surged to 122° F. It was so hot the airport shut down; flight manuals only provided data up to 120°. They’ve updated that info, so if you want to schedule a quick visit, feel free to enjoy the rays.
Why do I live in hell? My parents escaped the frozen tundra of Sault Ste. Marie, MI, ultimately ending up in its climatological evil twin. Living here since I was a wee lad, I’m used to the intensity, even though outsiders think my neighbors and I are crazy.
We only have two months of awful heat — mid-July to mid-September. That’s when the humidity rises, keeping the temperatures north of 100° late into the evening. We’re not there yet, but I’ll take two hot months here over four months of gray, icy misery in the upper Midwest.
Still, the heat can drive some people batty; a former co-worker comes to mind. This middle-aged female, let’s call her Didi, already had a few idiosyncrasies. Her claim to fame — which she would proudly share with every new employee — was that she had a one-night stand with George Harrison. When the younger folks weren’t dazzled by the awesome, Didi would enthuse, “well, that was in the ’60s when The Beatles were huge. It was a very big deal!” These whippersnappers wouldn’t know romance if it bit ’em on the butt!
Didi also drove a ’60s Mustang, and didn’t want to ruin its original condition by installing an air conditioner … despite the fact that she drove 25 miles to work every day and lived in hell. One balmy July day I asked her how she could stand the heat.
Didi: “Oh, I have a great system! Right before I leave my house in the morning, I dump a bucket of water over my head.”
Me: “A… a…”
Didi: “Yeah, a bucket of water! You know, my car is fast, so I just roll down all my windows and it works just like a swamp cooler.”
Me: “A bucket?”
Didi: “And since it gets so windy, my hair and clothes are all dried off by the time I get to work.”
Me: “Of water?”
Didi: “A lot cheaper and better than air conditioning, that’s for sure!”
And then prior to leaving the office, she would take said bucket into the ladies’ room and repeat the process.
By the time the next summer rolled around, she had to make a change in her routine. As she loudly confided to me, she now had a serious problem with incontinence. “I can’t use the freeway anymore — you never know when it’s going to hit!”
Unfortunately, the various gas station attendants along her route didn’t understand why a middle-aged woman soaked head-to-toe was frantically demanding a restroom key from them every few days. Didi lamented, “they look at me like I’m a crazy person!”
You don’t say.
Hey, my air conditioner just came back on! Guess I should put this bucket away.