Where the trees whistle for the dogs

TEMPE, Ariz. — It’s said here in this metropolis in the desert that Phoenix/Tempe has four seasons: Tolerable, hot, really hot, and ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!!
Heat waveJudging from the heat of the past few days, I would say that we’re experiencing the last of those four seasons. But, actually, I’m guessing that we’re in the “hot” season, with “moderate” to come in the winter months.
As I write this on Monday afternoon, the temperature is 100 degrees, with a forecast high of 105. It’s good that we’re not riding today. On Tuesday, when we resume our journey after a day of rest, the high temperature in Superior, Ariz., our intended destination, is forecast to be only 98 degrees. That would be the first day of riding in which the temperature was not more than 100 degrees.
But, as Yogi Berra, said: “It ain’t the heat; it’s the humility.”
Phoenix mapI’m a native Illinoisan and a veteran of more than two decades of Texas summers. So I’m acquainted with the stupefying humidity along the Mississippi River and with the blazing heat of a Texas summer. But judging from some jokes — or perhaps statements of fact — about the Phoenix summer culled from the Internet, this desert metropolis might just take heat to a whole new level.
Here are a few:
— You can’t take the dog for a walk because the pavement is too hot for his feet.
— Potatoes cook underground, and all you have to do to have lunch is to pull one out and add butter, salt and pepper.
— Cows give evaporated milk.
— The trees whistle for the dogs.
— You can make instant sun tea.
— The greatest fear of a bicyclist is: “What if I get knocked out and end up lying on the pavement and cook to death?”
Phoenix heatA classic witticism about the climate of Phoenix is attributed to a fellow named Bob Fisher, who preached in the city quite a few years ago, but abandoned the pulpit to practice law.
Asked why he made the career change, Fisher is said to have answered:
“I preached Christianity here to the best of my ability. But Christianity is based upon a system of rewards and punishments. Climate beat me. For eight months of a year the delights of heaven offer no special inducement to Phoenix residents. And for those who live through the other four months, hell has no terrors.”


1 Comment

Filed under Americana, Cycling across America, Journeys

One response to “Where the trees whistle for the dogs

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