I was talking to a friend the other day and found out he might be flying into a blast furnace.
“What do you know about Phoenix in late August?” he asked.
“I know nobody goes there unless they have to. What’s going on?” I asked.
Turns out the band Green Day is having a concert there. Obviously Green Day knows nothing about Phoenix in late August.
Having grown up in the Valley of the Sun, I could tell them that any description of the town at that time of the year does not involve the word “warm.” That is far too mild. The correct terms are “blazing,” “scorching,” “molten,” “fiery,” “hellish” and “(deleted) hot.”
I told my friend that since the days average about 112 degrees, “you’ll be fine as long as you move quickly between an air-conditioned car, an air-conditioned hotel room and any other air-conditioned indoor space. Otherwise you’ll probably melt into a puddle in about two minutes. Where is the band going to play?”
“I think it’s at the same place the Suns play,” he said.
“Well, that’s a covered arena, so you should be OK,” I said. “But I still think you’re nuts.”
It turns out Green Day in going to perform in an open amphitheater. This makes me wonder if there isn’t an unholy plot involving the band’s manager and the some local hospitals who want boost their patient counts by arranging a rash of heat stroke cases.
But I’m being a pessimist. As Bob Boze Bell wrote some years ago, there are at least five good things about Phoenix in the summertime.
(1) It’s always easy to find an open tennis court.
(2) Fried foods stay warm for days.
(3) Funerals are much shorter.
(4) Lawyers still try to wear ties. (Bob had a long-standing grudge with the legal profession.)
(5) The snowbirds don’t just melt, they evaporate.
(OK, I made that last one up, but my memory is going.)
One other thing my friend will need to keep in mind is that any car you meet on the street with its windows down has the right of way.
The windows down means the driver doesn’t have air conditioning and is therefore insane. And if the vehicle has vinyl upholstery, that person is also about to burst into flame and needs to get to one of the Valley’s many well-staffed burn centers as quickly as possible. So be kind and just get out of their way.
On second thought, maybe my friend should just catch Green Day when they play Denver the day before. That’s probably what all the fans in Phoenix are going to do.