The following column is the opinion and analysis of the writer.
“It’s 110 in Gila Bend.
In Buckeye it’s 120.”
The Dusty Chaps serenaded me on KXCI as I drove away from the Arroyo Cafe.
“Summer’s here and I just can’t find a way to stop loving you.”
“URGENT. The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning, which will remain in effect for Southern Arizona until 8:00 p.m. Tomorrow will be sunny and hot.”
Good to know.
I said the same thing the following year. “Good to know.”
“URGENT. The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning, which will remain in effect from today until late October. The National Weather Service advises all residents to reduce their carbon footprints by tinting the windows on their Hummers. Tomorrow will be sunny and hot.”
That blowtorch of a summer melted the plastic Jesus on the dashboard of my Ford pickup, Nelly. Dang.
“URGENT. The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning, which will remain in effect until the next Ice Age. Give or take a day. NWS.gov/ClimateChangeIimpacts/2024.”
What I heard next on my AM radio shocked the spurs off me.
“WARNING. The National Weather Service forecasts a Catastrophic Political Firestorm, which will remain in effect until every climate-change-denying tool is blown out to a rising sea.”
Before you could say “sidewinder” the next thing I heard was: “URGENT. The National Weather Service apologizes for the previous statement. President Ivanka Trump has announced that an investigation of The National Weather Service is under way. Expect global wildfires to blot out the sun until 4:37 p.m. Scattered mass extinctions to follow.”
As the years passed I felt numb. My favorite Dusty Chaps song burrowed into my head: “Heat stroke. I’m paralyzed! I got a feeling that I just can’t stand.”
I was stupefied.
“ATTENTION. The National Weather Service will host a press conference at 6 p.m. regarding the tragic loss of the Arctic ice cube. NWS.gov/LearntoSwim/2030.”
I learned to swim when I lost Nelly. I ain’t never been caught in a flash flood like that.
Moses ain’t never seen nothing like it.
My old transistor radio still worked.
“URGENT. The National Weather Service has issued a Severe Haboob Warning for the western United States. To learn more: NWS.gov/DustBowl/2035/DigYourWayOut.”
The grid was down so I couldn’t go online. So I whittled a torch, and fought over some jackrabbit roadkill with a turkey vulture.
“URGENT. The National Weather Service has issued a Very Very Excessive Heat Warning. Reschedule strenuous activities like rioting in front of your elected representatives’ offices to early morning or late evening. Tomorrow will be sunny and hot.”
That year the Dusty Chaps summed up my hopeless demeanor:
“And as the temperatures rise it’s gettin’ hard to disguise.
My feelings getting worse every night.
So I drink cold beer and I turn on the fan.
There’s really nothin’ I can do.”
Was there anything this varmint could have done while our collective biscuits were burnin’?
“URGENT. The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning, a Severe Snowstorm Watch, a Drought Warning, a Hail Advisory, a Multiple Tornadoes Watch and a Wildfire Warning for residents of Pima County. All Space Ark flights in and out of Tucson Intergalactic Spaceport have been grounded. Tomorrow will be sunny and hot.”
Dagnabbit. And I was all packed.
“URGENT. The National Weather Service has issued multiple Hurricane Warnings, which will remain in effect until Atlantis rises.
“Additionally, the National Weather Service has issued a lava warning for Pinal County. Please visit: NWS.gov/SignsOfTheApocalypse/AbominationsSpewingForth/Lava.
I found Nelly. I’m camping in her rusted shell now and eating mesquite beans. What are the odds tomorrow will be sunny and hot?
“URGENT. The National Weather Service has lifted the Tsunami Alert for Prescott and surrounding areas. Additionally, the NWS has issued a Hurricane Watch, a Winter Storm Blizzard Alert, Multiple Tornado Warnings and an Excessive Bummer Warning for Bisbee. Friday night’s Conscious Dance and Hemp Weaving Festival will be postponed.”
The heat made me miss the good old days when it was only “110 in Gila Bend.”
“URGENT. The National Weather Service advises residents to drink plenty of liquor. We do. Or we couldn’t do this job.Tomorrow will be — you guessed it — sunny and hot. NASA.gov/OperationExodus/Elysium/Registration.”
Saw the grandkids off at the spaceport.
Told them I was danged. Sorry we didn’t do more.
“Happy trails, wranglers. It was like the great Dusty Chaps once said. Heat stroke. We were paralyzed.”