Who needs the calendar, the Farmer’s Almanac or volumes of intricately diagrammed cyclical moon charts to inform us that winter has come to an end? Not this guy, for I have noticed the red, red robins are bob-bob-bobbin’, the daffodils have erupted with their short-lived color, and the pre-dawn, weekend weed whacking has begun in earnest ... signaling the onset of spring and the coming rainy season in the heartland.
Yet seeing as how I am neither a farmer, a baseball manager, an outdoor wedding consultant, a mushroom hunter or a roofer, the weather doesn’t concern me in the least. To paraphrase my favorite meteorological related quote, “If it were not for the weather, 90 percent of people couldn’t start a conversation.” That’s great news for me, since it means I will never have to talk to nearly 6.2 whatever billion members of the Earth’s general population. Not that I’m antisocial — I’ve simply a finite amount of time on this planet, and I’d rather not spend it discussing everyday phenomena I have no control over. To illustrate my point, I present these dramatic reinterpretations of actual weather-related verbal interactions.
The classic, of course, is the “Is it hot/cold enough for you?” question. Look, if it’s 95 in the shade with 84 percent humidity, and I am exhibiting all the symptoms of heat stroke, then yes, Einstein, it is. Anyone who has undertaken the difficult task of getting to know me will soon realize that 75 degrees is where “hot enough for me” begins. That’s why I will never understand the across the board attraction to vacationing in Florida. (By the way, I fondly refer to Florida as “Georgia’s Appendix” ... it just dangles there, I’m not sure of its purpose, and I wouldn’t miss it if it were removed.) Florida’s climate is simply one month of Illinois’ humid corn season spread out over an entire year. If we had dolphins and Jimmy Buffet here in July, there would be no difference.
The next most aggravating question is, “How much rain you get?” As I’ve not taken up any of the aforementioned weather dependant career paths, I don’t see this as a relevant query. My usual response is something along the lines of “Well, the sidewalk looks damp, but it wasn’t enough to puddle” or “Sprinkled enough to spot up the fresh wax job on the Jeep” or “Not enough to wash all the whirly seed pods out of the gutters”
If I had ever found it to be an intriguing notion to set up residence at the bottom of a reservoir spillway, perhaps accurate rainfall measurements would be of some interest to me. However, seeing as how the fanciful idea of a homestead constructed near a river, stream, creek, gully or causeway has never crossed my mind, I don’t find rain gauges a necessity. I’ve not once in my memory contemplated setting up shop on below sea level swampland, at the base of a mudslide prone hillside, or in the lowest lying section of a peninsula, so my need for instantaneous water level readings is minuscule at best. Never have I anticipated or encountered a beaver problem in my suburbia locale, so the odds of my home being inundated with a cascading torrent of H2O from a ruptured dam are slim, perhaps nonexistent.
In all likelihood, unless I peer out the picture window to find Jim Cantore doing a live on location report for The Weather Channel, I’ll go about my business, oblivious to the skies above me, searching out those three-quarters of a billion people who won’t talk about the weather.
Chuck Mason, a self-described opinionated wiseguy, resides in Princeton. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.