Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Blame it on the lack of rain

Note: This column appears in the 3/1 issue of The Glendale Star and the 3/2 issue of the Peoria Times.

There are many hot-button local issues as we head into this election season, for example, the Coyotes, the proposed casino, and like, taxes and stuff. Many prospective candidates are like, “I promise this,” and “So and so, whatever” … I don’t know—I haven’t really been paying attention. But my ears will perk up when I finally hear someone address the real issue at hand, the elephant in this room we call Arizona: Who will promise to end this drought?

I’m not sure if anyone has noticed this, but it has not rained in, I think, three years. In fact, the state of Arizona, U. S. of A., has been in a general state of droughtitude (new word) since 1999. Nineteen-ninety-nine! It hasn’t been adequately hydrated here since Sugar Ray was acceptable. (Pop culture joke; Boom, roasted, Sugar Ray. Somebody had to do it)

Not that it would have made a difference because my family loves it here, but this is yet another thing everyone somehow forgot to mention with regards to Valley life. It’s great! Perfect weather, open spaces, great cost of living … Oh, also there are a trillion scorpions and there is literally no moisture in the atmosphere. This information would have been helpful. In what way I am unsure. But it would have been.

This drought is a serious matter. Many pop artists like Phil Collins have wished for rain to hide the tears that have resulted from lost love—I have always wondered why so many singers opt to cry outdoors—but we need rain for more practical reasons, like fewer dead cows. Indeed, the drought’s effect on the soil has caused livestock to perish en masse. The general dry conditions have also made the state more susceptible to wildfires. But the most damaging area of this persistent drought has arguably been: my nose.

I cannot breath anymore, for one thing. Also, my nostrils are in a constant state of bleeding. I make valiant attempts to curtail the bleeding, to the point where my nostrils become two scab tunnels and I am breathing only out of my mouth, but then I will be forced to blow my nose, the scab dams will break, and I am back to square one. I realize this is disgusting, and accounts for consecutive columns that highlight flaws in my personal hygienic maintenance, but I don’t know what to tell you—if you can’t take the dry talk, get out of the extremely dry kitchen.

And it’s not just me. Our friends visited from L.A. last weekend, and my buddy Rashad went through about three cases of water just to stay alive. Every morning he sounded as though he were one cough away from turning into a pillar of dust and blowing away.

I personally down at least two gallons of water daily. My wife has also forced me to utilize various lotions to keep my skin hydrated. They are lined up on my bathroom sink in alphabetical order of applied body part. There is unscented lotion for my feet, and scented lotion for other limbs and appendages, and if I mistakenly use the scented lotion on my feet, there is hell to pay because I have wasted the scent.

This is madness, I say! Who will step up and promise to break this vicious cycle of having no hydrologic cycle? I am not above a rain dance at this point. I welcome one, in fact, and will actively participate. I like to dance anyway. I am running for mayor on a platform of less droughtitude. I will end this myself.

Also, no more taxes! (I am not running for mayor.)

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