Personal sympathy hit the skids a couple of weeks ago when CBS television’s nightly news lead story concerned the horrible heat wave nature was forcing on our neighbors in the Northeast.
Scott Pelley, news anchor, looked as if he had sucked on two lemons before relating the details of temperatures that reached, gosh, 91, 92 and even 93 degrees in Boston and New York!
Really? Am I supposed to feel sorry for these people for temperatures we Oklahomans generally consider a mild summer day’s heat? Most of us here don’t even bother complaining until the mercury tops out north of the triple digit mark. What’s the big deal?
Truth in advertising mandates admitting it has never been my lot to visit Boston or New York. Most of my life has been spent in the South and Midwest. These more southern climes are, generally speaking, regions in which residents have long since invested in air conditioning because they know it’s going to get hotter than the anteroom of Hades at some point during the summer.
This is apparently not the case in Boston and New York.
The only person of my acquaintance who lives in either of those cities is my son in Boston. He grew up in Ada so I called him to get his take on the “brutal” Northeast heat wave. “How am I supposed to feel sorry for you when the heat there is only in the lower 90s?” I asked him.
“Look,” he explained, “no one here has an air conditioner and when the temperature reaches 93, due to humidity, the heat index is well over 100. It’s pretty bad.” That was only the tip of the iceberg regarding weather related complaints of his new home.
Not that he doesn’t enjoy living there, he does. For one thing, there is so much history in Massachusetts. But in his darker moments – which is to say the winter - he wonders why our Founding Fathers didn’t move. “During the winter it’s always days of freezing rain or sleet or snow coming down and it’s cold as the dickens.
“Was John Adams lazy?” he wondered aloud. “After the first winter here why didn’t he pack up and go south?” And then he couldn’t resist a spontaneous tinge of mockery. “The British are coming, the British are coming!” he said, mimicking the revered Paul Revere, and then adding his perspective on what the Bostonian response should have been. “Fine! Let ‘em have it!”
This is all in jest, of course, a demonstrative way to express what those of us who’ve never been there have suspected all along. There is a reason we live where we do. We don’t like the cold more than we don’t like the heat and besides, we can crank up our air conditioners in our vehicles, homes and offices to make the scorching summers as comfortable as possible.
John Adams, lazy? That notion is best kept under your red and navy blue New England Patriots’ beanie, pal.