Sunday, October 12, 2008

This Blows


Everyone is in a horrendous mood lately. I did my research, in other words I asked them what the heck their problem was. Sorting through the various colorful responses, I discovered that the real culprit is not the current economic deathspin, global warming, or even worldwide famine, but rather, the Santa Ana winds.

For those not located in Southern California, Santa Ana winds are nasty, dry gusts that swirl and blast, sucking the moisture from your skin, leaving everything coated with dust and the remains of our 401ks. They hit every fall, usually the same day that people climb on their roofs to put up holiday decorations. Traditionally, Santa Anas appear on trash pick-up day, wrapping the garbage trucks in a swirl of SoCal flotsam, papers and plastic floating about them like so many deformed snowflakes.

On the freeway, the Santa Anas push cars around like toys. This has become more of a problem lately, because in an attempt to save the environment money, many commuters have purchased hybrid vehicles. These little 'green' cars typically weigh less than some of the patrons at the local Hometown Buffet. So when they hit about fifty miles per hour, the Santa Anas lift them from lane to lane, pushing them sideways, upwards and all over the place. Nothing like motoring along in a nice solid SUV only to have a Prius splatter across your windshield.

Gusts blow from all directions, with no pattern, rhyme or reason. With a normal wind, you can steady yourself against the anticipated blast. Not so with Santa Anas - you will set yourself for a gust from the Northeast, only to get shoved from the South. They are unpredictable, unstable, moody, and hot - the weather equivalent of Mother Nature's menopause.

The worst part, by far, is the fires. My Aunt Marge had hot flashes that cut through everything in her way, but even she couldn't roast ten thousand acres at a clip. Santa Ana winds knock tree limbs into power lines, which ignite, well, everything, and away we go in, as I mentioned earlier, every dang direction. First a fire blows southward. Whoops, now it's headed east. Hold it, it's heading up a canyon on the west side. Firefighters are truly dancing with the devil.

I've lived in many difficult climes. I've waded through four-foot snowdrifts, shivered in 30 below temperatures, simmered in sweltering summers of 100% humidity, endured electrical storms that hit the building I was in, and hunkered down in hurricanes. The Santa Anas are by far the worst of the weather. Nothing is as irritating as a dirtwind, gusting from all directions, coating your desiccated skin with scuzzy dust from who knows where.

How does this affect the rest of the world? We know that regarding things of importance, such as movies, plastic surgery, and the latest rehab techniques, SoCal drives the country. So when these horrible winds ruin our party, our temperamental tailspin creates a domino effect, crashing moods and creating crankiness all the way to Wall Street. When the proverbial butterfly gets blown sideways in the San Fernando Valley, someone in Palm Beach runs over a cockroach. You might think a dead cockroach is a good thing, but this one might be a pet owned by a mentally unstable entomologist who, finding his beloved bug smushed, vows revenge on the world. Make a few million people cranky and worried about losing their homes in a firestorm, and the whole world's gonna hurt.

Time for a solution. I don't have one, but I do know it's quite entertaining to wander about complaining about how irritated I am. At least it's entertaining to me. Whether others find it entertaining or irritating, I could care less. Which is a very liberating way to feel, and makes me smile. At which point the Santa Ana winds coat my teeth with soot and dust.


1 comment:

insomniac said...

that last picture looks like the finger of God from 'the 10 commandments'... not a judgement or anything, just an observation.