Hissy Fit - August 2022 - Rain or Shine : Someone is Complaining
...because everyone needs one every once in awhile
August 2022 Issue
by Elizabeth Skenes Millen
It’s been years since I’ve had a hissy fit over the weather, but it is time. I’m not mad at the weather, and I don’t think it’s too hot. I mean it is hotter than a pig at a Fourth of July cookout, but it always has been—it’s August. August doesn’t pretend to be anything else but blazing. She’s not going to tease you with early morning coolness, and she’s stingy with breezes, which is perfectly fine since they feel like a fan in front of bonfire. Heck, she’ll barely even throw shade. August doesn’t care what you say about her because she knows, without doubt, she is hot, and she flaunts it.
I grew up in the basement furnace of South Carolina—Columbia. I start to sweat just thinking about Columbia and August getting together. If it weren’t for Lake Murray and the Woodland Village swimming pool, I think we all would have melted, just like the butter we used for suntan lotion. We looked like cows in a pasture with one tree and a small pond—everybody’s either in the pond with their tongues hanging out, or standing under the tree trying not to move to avoid having heat stroke.
But us Southerners are used to the heat. When we learn to swim—butterfly, breast stroke, back stroke, they throw in the heat stroke, too. You’re more likely to need to know how to deal with a heat stroke than drowning.
I already told you I’m not mad at the weather. August and I go way back. What’s irking me is people. Lord, isn’t that always the way. People complain about the weather like someone out there can do something about it. If you get on the time-suck called Facebook, there are so many people complaining about the weather; they’re never satisfied. If it’s cold, it’s too cold. If it’s hot, it’s too hot. If it’s raining, it’s too much rain. If it’s dry, Lord, when are we going to get some rain? People are never happy with the weather, even though it is fairly consistent with what it’s always been. Basically, if you’ve lived somewhere more than one year, you know what it was like last year. It’s going to be pretty close to that this year. That’s why the Farmer’s Almanac is fairly accurate—it’s just going on what it did last year—it’s called a pattern, a track record, history.
Of course, “weather events,” and they are now “weather events,” because God knows, the Weather Channel thrives on death and destruction and must report hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, etc. incessantly (that means every single second) for days, weeks, years. In fact, they start reporting hurricanes when they are still toddling off the coast of Africa. They give us 73 possible routes it could take. They even call it the spaghetti models, which is nothing more than a pile of jumbled carbs, which we all know is not good for us. Then, they scare everyone into overreacting immediately because in 10 days this hurricane could, maybe, possibly, might come through your town. Please don’t think I’m not sympathetic; I was one of the few whose home was destroyed in Hurricane Matthew. I am thankful I evacuated, but I’m tired of the scare tactics that get too many people, who won’t be affected, into a horrifying frenzy. It hurts our communities, psyches and economies. Life is hard enough to board your windows up for a hurricane that ends up hitting four states over—hello Louisiana, and I’m so sorry for the horrible hits y’all have taken.
The other thing that bothers me about the weather is people. Oh wait… Well, anyway, this really gets me: I was sailing in the Calibogue Sound one day, when a bad cloud came up. I pointed the cloud out and said, “Looks like a storm.” The response: At least three people—not the captain—got out their smart phones to view their weather apps and said, “The weather is not showing rain.”
I don’t know about you, but if there is a voluminous, black cloud looming over the boat in real life, it might be more accurate than a weather app. Do you agree, or am I just being daft?
I have a friend who knows a weatherman—talk about having the best job in the world. They don’t even have to be right, and they get to keep their jobs. Anyway, this weatherman, won an award for the most accurate weather forecaster in the state. My friend: “Wow! Congratulations! That’s impressive; best in the state! What was your accuracy percentage?” Weatherman: “47%.”
That right there folks demonstrates the power of the weather to do whatever the hell it pleases. Even people trained to predict the weather have less than a 50% chance to get it right. Statistically, that means untrained people have about the same chance. Is it going to rain or not? Heads or tails? 50-percent shot.
You’ve probably guessed by now that I don’t look at weather apps or the Weather Channel very often. Here’s how I tell how cold it is in the winter—I touch the window. It’s science and works every time. If it’s gray out in the morning, I check the app to see the intensity so I can determine if I need to wear my rain slickers. (I always get compliments on those old Sperry’s, which makes me kinda happy about the rain.) But somehow, quite miraculously, I just naturally know to wear short sleeves in the summer and long sleeves in the winter. I don’t need to know the exact temps—that’s too much drama. You can’t wear much less than a sleeveless top and shorts. What are you going to do, just wear your bra and panties? Everyone knows “No Shirt, No Service”, so who cares if it’s 93, 95 or 99. You know it’s hot and that you have to wear clothes if you want to go out for breakfast. And, how do you make a gray day brighter, order your eggs sunny side up. You don’t have to check an app for that.