I’m sorry for the lack of rain. I know most people will publicly blame other forces for this extreme stretch of dry winter weather. Some might even try using those fancy meteorological terms that television weather reporters throw out to dazzle the audience and make viewers think their knowledge goes beyond picking an arbitrary percentage and claiming a chance that rain or wind or snow or locusts “might” happen. This unseasonably dry and warm weather, for instance. Rumor has it the lack of rain is due to something involving highs and lows and cold fronts and Doppler and radar and a few weather patterns that require lines and circles and weird map patterns that look like crop circles. That is the official party line.
But we all know the truth why the rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain and hasn’t yet traveled to these western parts — I have refused to wash my car.
Why wash it when the rain is just going to come immediately after?
But the answer is obvious. The rain is not coming and the car isn’t getting any cleaner on its own.
Murphy’s Law and a strong dose of irony holds that the skies always part nearly as soon as I shell out the five or six bucks at the gas station car wash (dollar off with fill up!) to haphazardly knock the road dust and bird waste from my hood. In fact, I am almost certain that a bit of car upkeep is what preceded the last good bout of rain back a few weeks — or is it more than a month now?
This time, with fall officially slipping into winter, and the holiday season inching closer and closer and now passed, I vowed to hold off and let nature do my chores for me. Wash the car. Water the lawn. Give the sad, droopy potted plants hope of living another day.
While the weather is feeling generous, perhaps it can also bring a little wind to stave off yet another of the endless Spare the Air days frustrating the winter pyromaniacs among us itching to roast like chestnuts before an open fire. I count myself among this crew, being such a fan of a roaring hearth I’d probably tie myself to a spit and roast if possible.
But no, the buzzkill air quality officials have deemed the region’s skies the equivalent of China and send out daily notices that by the time fires are allowed we’ll all be reaching instead for oscillating fans and water misters.
Currently, it would make more sense for the authorities to tell us when we can burn rather than when we can’t. In fact, one friend claimed he will celebrate having an actual burn day again by torching tires. He’s probably only half joking.
Besides, the perils of burning rubber probably isn’t covered in that wood-smoke awareness class first-time violators can take in lieu of the $100 fine. Side note: Paying the fine sounds more palatable than smoke class especially if it is anything like those online driving schools that hide tidbits about dogs and colors among the text to prevent students from simply jumping to the answer portion.
In any case, back to my long overdue apology about the rain. Unless sometime between the writing and publishing of this column the rain gods give up on that childhood classic plea to go away and come again another day, I promise to finally give the car a much-needed shower.
You could say I’m driven to it.
Michelle Durand’s column “Off the Beat” runs every Tuesday and Thursday. She can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (650) 344-5200 ext. 102. What do you think of this column? Send a letter to the editor: email@example.com.