Making fewer appearances than Lady Gaga’s modesty, ladies and gentlemen, the sun!
Since my family and I moved from the Dixie-themed sauna room that is Deep South of the U-S of Howdy Ya’ll to Europe, the sun is seen less than the Unabomber squirreled away in a mountain-side shed.
Before we moved here, we knew there would be hurdles with the weather including days as gray as a Wall Street banker’s suit and temperatures hovering somewhere between “really?” and “you’ve got to be kidding me.” Both have materialized. However, after a recent string of something like 3,161 consecutive days of clouds, rain, and coat-wearing, the sun has shown for two days. It’s like a Lifetime miniseries and Jaclyn Smith is pushing for Emmy both nights!
Any weather report is about as reliable as a BP press conference and carries about as much credibility. Apparently the Bavarian translation for Super Doppler is, “You’re on your own, Schotz.” I’ve often referred to the Weather app on my iPhone as “that useless icon I cannot delete.” That the Summer Solstice passed by without so much as a shoulder shrug says something, and the something is a heaving, depressed sigh.
That sound is heard loudest around my workplace. At work, a clear sky turns employees of all ages into “Can we have school outside today” crazies; sun-deprived proletariats rushing outside and staring up like the alien mothership is about to touchdown and bring us home.
While we’re not kneeling, killing chickens and moaning something incomprehensible to the heavens, my family and I have officially gone into clothing confusion. So unsure are we of what that weather will do that our car is a Winter Wear Wagon Train scattered with puffy jackets, raincoats, mismatched gloves, and umbrellas. Indeed, thrift stores covet my backseat and trunk like a fat kid wanting cake.
My 4-year-old is unfazed by all this. She’d wear a superhero costume every day if she could, despite temperatures only slightly warmer than a Victoria Beckham show of gratitude. Further, she will not let the weather interfere with her naked time between four and five p.m. -- and neither will my daughter.
However, spending most of every day clothed like Antarctic Scientists has its drawbacks. For instance, my wife and I haven’t worn shorts since the last days of the second Bush administration. If our skin gets any whiter, the crew from the Mystery Machine will be hunting us down and turning us over to the cops.
Scooby Doobey Doo, indeed.
People who’ve lived here longer than us say the same thing over and over again: “Don’t let the weather dictate or not dictate your activities.” However, sloshing around and falling in three inches of bright red mud might be an inspired Hooters promotion, but a regular softball game it does not make. In fact, doing anything in pouring rain and hail is on par with having a cat attack your genitals while naked and doing yoga.
Now, this is the part of the story where you expect me to bring it all home, perk things up and wash you in warmth by having Morgan Freeman narrate something here like, “Blah blah blah charm of the area … blah blah blah weather is not what makes the location … blah blah blah happy whimsical anecdote.”
And that was my plan. However, after emailing Morgan Freeman and describing the weather conditions here, he told me, “You’re on your own, Schotz.”
As I finish writing this, Raffi’s “Mister Sun, Sun, Mister Golden Sun …” is playing on my daughter’s CD player. I'm told we’ll get a third day of clear skies tomorrow. However, every good funeral needs a dirge and, from time to time, even the torturer’s bucket goes empty as waterboarding continues.
So, rather than burst into a wide smile and declare this crisis over by joining in Raffi’s chorus of “Please shine down on me,” I’ll toss another jacket in the car and keep my puh-puh-puh-poker face shielded from the raindrops.