You know that scene in Total Recall, the 90s action thriller with Arnold Schwarzenegger & Sharon Stone where the Martians’ giant, life-maintaining fan is shut off and their air supply is totally cut and they’re gasping and flopping like Dali clocks?
I don’t remember much else about that movie (so much for “total recall”), but I will never forget that scene. I am living it right now.
Here in NH, we rarely get any sympathy regarding hot weather. We live just a few hours from Canada, but trust me—it is literally steeeeeaming here right now. Our temps are lower than many other parts of the country, I know, and we are fortunate not to be plagued by major wildfires and floods. You know how people say, in places like AZ, that “it’s a dry heat”? Well, here it’s a very wet heat—without the rain.
On Friday, the WMUR weather forecast read: Today: Miserable. Tomorrow: More Miserable. Sunday: Miserable. Monday (that’s today): More Miserable. The weather person’s advice: Sorry, NH, we’ll just have to suck it up.
So what to do as you lie gasping in front of the life-essential fan? Unfortunately, like our fellow stiff-upper-lippers in England, our homes here in the Live Free or Die state are built to keep the heat in, not out. And AC? Forgettaboutit, unless you’re taking your dog for a ride in the car to escape.
I could do some editing or writing, of course–if only my brain whirred half as fast as the fan. Deep plunge in a cool lake? Sure, but you’ll have to walk there because buses of day camp kids arrive every hour and there’s no place to park. (That’s okay. I wouldn’t want to play Capture the Flag at the Martian-dry ballfields either.)
Solution: all-day marathons of SVU, followed by watching the Sox lose and more SVU. (How had I forgotten what a great show that was? Even the dog and cat were glued.)
But yesterday we had a genuine–and all-too-brief–chill when we heard a huge boom as we brought our cold dinners out to the TV—and the whole house lurched sideways. So did everyone else’s in every nearby town. Our local Facebook groups were bamboozled. Meteorite? Thunder of unusual strength? Falling trees (if we had redwoods here, which we don’t). Underground gas explosion? Training missions from the nearby Space Force base (*shoutout to New Boston*)?
It was an earthquake: 2.3! (Insert pitying, unimpressed eye rolls from California and Hawaii Chicks here.) But did the massive jolt eke out a single drop of rain? Negatory.
When I was a kid, my friend Olivia had a coffee table which her mom told us was a Chinese rain gong. She warned us never to touch it (along with anything else in the living room—that’s the way things rolled in the 60s/70s). But one sunny afternoon, bored after an umpteenth board game of Clue! and having to baby-sit my friend’s younger siblings, we snuck into the living room and hit it with some tool the gardener had left outside.
It made a LOT of noise—very, very low and long. It vibrated for days (well, it seemed like it). We were terrified…because it worked!!! Before we could make it back to the Bedroom from the Living Room with the Trowel, there was an angry crash of thunder and the heavens opened. I think we hid under the bed for awhile.
How amazing would it be to have another shot at a rain gong right now? Turns out, though, there’s no need to dig a nice cool underground tunnel to China to find one. Look what just happened after I typed that last paragraph–for 4.27 minutes!
Readers, do you find yourselves having more conversations about the weather lately? How are things in *your* neck of the woods?