A recent WordPress Writing Challenge was to invent and describe a holiday. I did just that a couple of years ago, on my old blog. Here’s Armadillo Day from August 11, 2009. It’s November 2012 now and we’re not in 100+ degree weather. We are, however, still reaching highs in the 80s, running about 10-15 degrees warmer than usual.
To state the obvious: It’s HOT here. We just passed our 50th day of temperatures in triple digits. We’re just not used to counting that high for that long.
I think we should start a new tradition, to predict how long our heat wave will last. So on August 1st, we’ll celebrate Armadillo Day.
We’ll have a contest to name the armadillo, but for right now we’ll call him Al. Al will be handled with tender, loving care by the members of the Armadillos Against Leprosy League (AALL). Armadillos, like humans, can get leprosy.
Over time the event will grow to include a 5K run, a bike ride (maybe Lance will show up), a concert (maybe Willie will show up), and a golf tournament (maybe Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw will show up and hit the links with Lance and Willie), with all proceeds going to research sponsored by AALL. Hat vendors at the event will do quite well. Hats with armadillo ears sticking up and a tail hanging down the back will be particularly popular. Bumper stickers will be another popular item: “Have you hugged your armadillo today?” and “We brake for Al the Armadillo.”
The AALL will have a permit to close off the intersection of Congress and 11th Street, at the south end of the Capitol. Meteorologists from all over the state will show up to report on Al’s every footstep.
Will we have six more weeks of brutal heat that will make us dry up like jerky, or will there be a break in the temperature before mid-September, cooling us down to the mid 90s? How will we know what the weather will be in the coming weeks?
The secret is in what Al chooses.
If he chooses to cross the road, making it to the other side safely under the protection of the police department, we can look forward to a cool front sometime in the very near future. A sigh of relief will float up from the gallery. Thunderous applause will fill the air. Everyone will eat ice cream.
If, however, once Al is set down on the sidewalk, he jumps up in the air about two feet – as armadillos are wont to do when startled – and then sprints up the Capitol walkway, diving into one of the fountains, our worst fears will be confirmed: we’ll have six more weeks of relentless heat, with nary a cloud to protect us. Some people will swoon, just a bit, at the thought of all the burnt skin they have to endure when getting into their vehicles, and, even worse, their skyrocketing electric bills.
After the original Al passes away, we’ll erect a statue in his honor on the south lawn of the Capitol. Children will hang flowers from his ears and tail, put rings on his claws and sunscreen on his snout (and their own noses) and get their pictures taken with him. A new Al will take his place and continue the tradition, but the original Al will have a special place in everyone’s heart.
Weekly Writing Challenge: Mind the Gap
Turns out there were more Tweets in a single day about the 2012 Olympics than during the entire Beijing Olympics.
The Mind the Gap question from WordPress: Has social media changed how you view the Olympics?
My answer: No, I didn’t watch or keep up with the Olympics.
Seems the gap is bigger for some of us than for others.
WordPress sent out a notice that they are starting a weekly writing challenge. Here’s the first one.
Weekly Writing Challenge: From Mundane to Meaningful
I got my hearing checked not so long ago. I thought maybe I wasn’t hearing things as well as I used to. One clue was that I found myself telling my husband more and more often “I can’t hear you.”
Like when I am washing dishes, have the water running in the sink and he’s in the other room saying something (I think). I tell him, “I can’t hear you with the water running.”
Like when I’m just getting home from work, closing the garage door and still in the doorway between the garage and the house and he’s in another room saying something (I think). I have to tell him, “I can’t hear you with the garage door noise.”
Like when I lean over the paper shredder, feed some paper through and hubby is in another room saying something (I think). I tell him, “I can’t hear you with the shredder running.”
Like when I’m in the shower with the water running and he’s in the other room saying something (I think). I have to tell him, “I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”
Actually I can hear something, just not well enough to understand what he is saying. So I got my hearing checked.
The nurse takes me back to the testing area and asks me all kinds of questions. Funny, I can understand her just fine. The technician situates me in the booth with the headphones and I press the button each time I hear the tone. The results show that my hearing is within normal range. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t lost any hearing, as they don’t have anything to compare it to. It just means that my hearing level is “normal.”
In talking with the doctor after the test, I explain all the situations where I can’t hear what my husband is saying. “What about that?” I ask.
“Without actually being there,” he says, “I’m guessing that contributing factors are that you’re married and your husband is male.”
I just look at him. “Can I have my money back?”