First there was Blazin’ Cheetos, then Blazin’ Fritos, Blazin’ Doritos and now it’s us that’s blazin’. Has Frito-Lay invested in our temperatures?
This is crazy. The ice cream clabbers before I get home, the butter turns into a soupy pool and all my pants are sweat pants. If it gets any hotter, I'll have to take off stuff I really ought to keep on. When you get down to it, there’s no global warming; it’s global sweating.
Why is it that ever summer I start whining about the heat? I mean, of course it’s going to be hot. Regardless of climate change or global warming, Socorro's summer weather remains, more or less, true to form.
When you live in the northern Chihuahua Desert you get used to this kind of thing and take everything in stride. Just hunker down and make sure you remembered to clean the filter on that swamp cooler.
Speaking of that, this summer’s particularly warm weather forces me to confront my own uppitiness. When we moved to New Mexico years ago my idea was to fully appreciate the climate and experience the weather, the seasons, in a natural way. You know, if it was hot I was supposed to experience hot and when it’s cold to feel the cold, just like the homesteaders who immigrated to the New Mexico Territory. They toughed it out.
They had no swamp coolers or air conditioning, they just opened windows and doors and I’m thinking, “I’m no fragile city boy, if they could do it, I could too.” Wrong-o. At this point …even with our thick-walled old adobe house, well…after 16 summers I find myself quietly pricing window mounted swamp coolers.
These days water, or the lack of it – including the Rio Grande – becomes not just a given, but a bigger issue than turning on the tap. About this time five years ago – as a result of the Magdalena water crisis – the Chapel of the Living Waters at Montosa Campground out toward the VLA hosted a “pray for rain vigil.” I'm wondering if that might be worth repeating sometime this summer. If nothing else, it'd be another chance to get together with friends and acquaintances and commiserate on the weather.
And make it a potluck.
As for the dry heat we brag so much about to friends and relatives back east, we'll just have to wait around for the autumnal equinox or at least the temporary respite of our summer monsoon rains.
There's a memorable Ray Bradbury line in the 1952 movie It Came From Outer Space when the exasperated sheriff of the small Arizona desert town says to the main character, "Did you know, Putnam, that more murders are committed at 92 degrees Fahrenheit than any other temperature? I read an article once, lower temperatures people are easy going, over 92 is too hot to move, but just 92, people get irritable!"
I don't know if that applies to Socorro or not. Fortunately Socorro murders are far and few between, but I can understand the character's sentiment. I’m not sure if Sheriff Armijo, Chief Winders or Marshal Zamora have compiled any reliable figures on this but I'm sure they wouldn't argue that tempers get to flaring once the thermometer passes the 92 mark.
Anyway, this week I feel like cooling off by watching a movie like The Day
After, where the whole northern hemisphere becomes frigid and snowbound. In the meantime – and this is the honest truth – I caught myself humming Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow.
On another topic, last week we got the new telephone book in the mail, that sliver of a thing. It includes Socorro, Magdalena and Catron County, as well. There was once a time when getting the new phone book was cool. Especially the first time.
You could say it was one of those rites of passage when you leave the nest and move into your first apartment. You get a telephone in your very own name, and the next time the phone book comes out, there’s your name. You are bona fide.
And then you’d go to work writing down all the numbers that weren’t in the book, like relatives and what not.
The phone book is still a thing, and I’m glad, although with lots of folks going to all cellphone, our local phone book seems to be getting thinner and thinner.
There’s 42-count ‘em-42 pages of regular people and things, but most of the book is filled up with blue pages and yellow pages, and if you know the meaning of the phrase, “let your fingers do the walking,” then you must be older than…wait, no, we already did those wisecracks a couple weeks ago.
I did, however, check the white pages to make sure I was still above ground.