It’s hot in Illinois again today. My lawns have not been mowed for a fortnight. This is the time of year I dread. The mercury zooms over the eighty degree mark by nine in the morning and the day is destined to find me pacing up and down, sweating, frustrated, and cursing an environment that keeps me confined to air-conditioning either in the house, or if I have to go outside, in the car.
While others can at least enjoy the relative outdoor cool of early morning or late evening, my British body has an allergic reaction to American mosquitoes that keeps me confined indoors during those hours. DEET, herbal preparations, and other cocktails supposedly noxious to Culex pipiens and its relatives are no barrier to the demand these creatures have for British blood.
My neighbor is out cutting his grass. I watch him from the window, and fume. The lawns around our house are a foot high after all the recent storms, but there’s damn all I can do about it. My physiology won’t tolerate the intense heat and humidity that hardly troubles American natives. Yet, they can’t seem to understand that. Last year, at this time, I got a visit from an old guy across the street wanting to know if I was ill because my grass, so carefully manicured all Spring, was now a hayfield. I tried to tell him about the weather and it’s effects. He looked at me with an expression that plainly said – “English wimp!” And when I tried to explain it was like taking an alpine plant from high in the Colorado Mountains and transplanting it in the Arizona Desert, where it would die very quickly, his eyes glazed and he muttered something about his coffee-pot boiling over, before beating a hasty retreat.
To hell with the lawns, I’m off to Michigan’s Upper Peninsular tomorrow for five days, to cool off in a balmy 70-75 degrees and a fresh breeze off the Great Lakes.
It’s just as well I don’t live in Utah. I’d have been arrested before now for the state of my lawns, and thrown into jail – probably a cell without air-conditioning. That’s what almost happened to seventy year old Betty Perry, from Orem, Utah. A cop tried to arrest her for not watering her lawn, and when she resisted he hit her across the face with his handcuffs.
You don’t believe it, do you? You think I’m making it up.
Filed under: Stinking hot police state