It’s all my fault.
I waxed my skis last week, and it’s been 50 degrees
and clear ever since. Sure, you can blame it on a Pineapple
Express that’s only been delivering canned tidbits,
but the fact of the matter is, I’m beginning to
see a direct correlation between my enthusiasm over winter
sports and the mercury level. There also is an inexplicable
link between the number of times I peek at the weather
forecast and the lack of snow projected. I checked the
weather five times today – and strangely enough
the next chance of precipitation is five days away.
And in case you were wondering, my powers seem to work
in the reverse direction as well. For example, I waited
the entire month of November for temperatures warm enough
to blow out my automatic sprinkler system, so as to avoid
an unplanned front yard fountain feature. Of course, the
more anxious I became over the prospect of digging up
shattered PVC pipe for the rest of my adult life, the
colder it got. Eventually, I gave up and, well, here we
I’m sure there are those who think I am only flattering
myself to suggest that my neuroses have any affect on
global climate, let alone my own front yard. In fact,
some point out that the whole damn planet is heating up,
our ozone layer shriveling up like a piece of shrink wrap
in the microwave, humankind hurtling toward extinction
faster than a speeding SUV. Kiss those snows of Kilimanjaro
and the Haute Route goodbye. Welcome to the greenhouse,
A bit fatalistic, for sure. But it does help take the
pressure off me, so when the global warming bandwagon
comes around, I hop on. Of course no sooner do I get on
board than a certain smarter and more scientific someone
lets the air out of the tires. See, he comes from a background
of numbers, stats and precise measurements, while I come
from a background of well, let’s just say it’s
a miracle I made it out of college algebra alive. The
closest I ever came to a scientific experiment was stealing
a bunson burner lighter in high school to see if it would
work on cigarettes (it didn’t). So, as you can imagine,
scientific discussions are usually a bit lopsided between
myself and the plaid scientist, consisting of lots of
“becauses” when it comes to defending my beliefs.
See, while he does not dispute that as of late, things
have been a tad bit on the balmy side, he won’t
attribute it all to the human factor
Naturally, when I suggest writing on the topic of global
warming, I am met with rolling eyes from Mr. Pocket Protector.
“If you do, you better have some hard numbers to
back it up,” he sternly warns.
But I don’t need numerical data – that’s
what the U.N. is for. Besides, I’ve got empirical
proof to back up my theory of dwindling winters: more
dings in my ski bases than there are craters on the moon
and herbs that are flourishing in my garden despite the
fact that the growing season supposedly ended months ago.
But don’t take my word for it. I have friends who
grew up here and insist that it used to snow, a lot. Then
there’s another Durango native I met recently who
said the same thing. And what about the winter, years
ago, when there was so much snow that the Concert Hall
roof caved in? Or the Chapman Hill rope tow, apparently
it was put there for a reason.
It is at this point that I am typically told how small,
inconsequential and egocentric we humans are in the grand
scheme of things. The way it is explained to me, people
are no more than a hair on a pimple on the enormous posterior
of history. And our knowledge of weather patterns, consisting
of about 100 years of records, is a tiny speck of dandruff
on said hair. In other words, we don’t know squat.
For all we know, we are no more than a freak biological
blip in between cataclysmic super novas; a microscopic
layer of dust in the polar ice caps, sandwiched between
layers of woolly mammoths.
It is this latter argument that I can at least find a
shred of hope in. Sure, it may be sick and twisted to
find delight in the outside chance that the Earth will
soon (geologically speaking, anyway) be plunged back into
the Pleistocene frozen produce section, making air conditioners
obsolete and fur mukluks more than something to snicker
at in the ski lodge bar. Sure, bikinis and beach volleyball
may become things of the past (and the world none the
less better off, some may argue) but take heart. By then,
we pesky little hairs will have figured out a way to fly
to the Venus Riviera for vacations cavorting in the sun.
And in the meantime, here on Earth, my skis will be waxed
and ready to go.
- Missy Votel