It was quite warm in the Willamette Valley of Oregon yesterday, but all the Weather Wallahs were grimly telling us "you ain't seen nuthin' yet". The 120-degree furnace that has been blistering AZ is migrating northwestward, it seems, and so Oregon and Washington will get some severe heating, so they say.
Protect the Elderly! So screamed all the headlines on the evening TeeVee snooze last night.
I got up at 0530 this morning, to full sunshine and still air. It was 65 degrees out. It's supposed to make it to the mid-high 90's today, the first true day of our heat wave.
I fire up the computador. It opens to my home page, the NOAA Portland site. I notice that the regional map is painted in a dirty orange color for all terrain in the Forecast Area below 2000 feet. There is a "Heat Advisory" posted with that ugly paint job.
"Protect the Elderly" screams the Heat Advisory.
Okay then, I'm convinced. I'm elderly, and I need extra protection, says my Government. Going into the adjacent gun room, I open the gun safe and get out a 1911A1, carefully shelving the 9mm compact Kel-Tec P11 in the safe. I get out two extra magazines of hardball and re-lock the safe.
I'm protected, but then I think: waitaminute! The Government is supposed to protect me. I put on some pants and shuffle towards my front door, opening it wide, and I yell, in my best "parade ground voice":
"Captain! Captain of the Guard."
A dog barks, probably the same dog whose owner will shortly have to de-odorize it with tomato juice, because the stink of a disturbed skunk is heavy on the still air.
"Captain of the Guard".
I try again but, again, get no answer.
Just as I thought, my Government makes a fine show of protecting me, but when extra protection is really needed, they completely fail. No Captain of the Guard. Not even a Squad Leader and his seven stalwarts shows. Nothing but the wary blond labrador who is probably covered in skunk-juice, and he wags his tail and heads towards me, so I retreat back into my house.
"No Guard", I harrumph at the gudwife. She just shakes her head, quietly putting up with my nonsense yet again as she has for the past 36 years.
I make my coffee, strong, to fight off the tendency to want to get back into bed and sleep until the NASCAR race comes on. A dollop of cream into the coffee to lighten it's effect in the gut, and a dollop of Colonel Lee Bourbon to lighten it's effect in the head.
Protect the Elderly, indeed.