As you may know, there's been a lot of weather going around recently. I'd like to add to the picture, if I may, even though I know you Midwesterners/people from Rhode Island are groaning and slapping your foreheads.
I can hear you.
Wait...that's just the pipes.
See...Okay. Here's the thing. Whatever you guys have done out there with the several feet of snow and the buried cars and the downed powerlines and everything has caused us here in the Desert Southwest to experience temperatures way beyond what we're used to. 100 degrees? Check. 108? Double check. Whatevs. We can handle those kinds of extremes.
But 18 degrees is kicking our ass. It's caused my house to be 37 degrees when I wake up in the morning. Which is unacceptable. It's killing all our cactuses. They're simply freezing and then keeling over from their own weight. The prickly pears are a mess. And that exotic thing from Africa...? (Sad head-shaking.)
It's also causing our pipes to burst. Because only the people who have experienced Midwest winters know the first thing about letting your water drip all night or turning off the water to your swamp coolers or whatnot. (Okay. The swamp cooler thing is all on us. That's totally our fault.) No, but seriously, I'm pretty sure 95 percent of everyone I know in Tucson (Facebook, February 3, 2011) had a pipe burst on Thursday morning. Including Work. And Tucson Water. And they're professionals!
True story: I took my dog for a walk Wednesday evening and personally witnessed a man wearing a trash bag climb onto his roof to fix a swamp cooler line that was geysering like Old Faithful. Also, the cold broke my car door handle, and my internet lines have been frozen for two days. You think I'm kidding, but I am not. I may be wrong about the car door handle, but the facts are that it's been harder to open the driver's side door since it got consistently below forty at night, and on the morning everything else in my world froze solid, the handle snapped when I pulled on it. Coincidence? You decide. Now, it's going to cost me seventy-five bucks and a Tuesday morning to get a new handle. And I blame Canada.
As for the internet - I'm really not kidding on this one. When temperatures are below fifty, the internet on the computer in the back room with all the cracked windows and barely any ceiling and all the spiders STOPS WORKING.
My supervisor at Work thinks this is hysterical. On Thursday morning, as all the complaints about frozen pipes are filtering in, I tell her that my internet has ceased working again and she says..."Your internet pipes are frozen?" and I say, "Yes, in fact I believe they are." And she laughs for approximately seventeen minutes. But, seriously. The internet doesn't work on that computer when it's below fifty. We don't get it, but we have learned to live with it. And use the laptops a lot during the winter.
Not only are we suffering frozen pipes, dying prickly pears, and having to see our neighbors wearing trash bags, but apparently we have also run short of natural gas in various parts of the city. And that, I have heard, is really specifically your guyses' faults. I'm not clear on the specifics of why, since I actively stopped listening when the story came on the news.
In conclusion, I just want you all to know that we in Arizona are suffering too. We haven't had quite the news coverage that you guys scored this past week, but 18 degrees is only one degree higher than the last official low temperature. It's frickin' strange to be this cold here. That's why people have to wear trash bags while they staunch the flow from their burst swamp cooler water lines. Because we all long since thrown out our coats, and our Daisy Dukes simply aren't warm enough.