We're in Arizona, visiting Emily. It's been a long time, maybe 5 years, since I've been here. Intellectually, I remember that the temperature exceeds 115 regularly; biologically, my body is incapable of adjusting to that reality.
I want to apologize to all you family and friends for dragging you to Arizona in June for our wedding. Yesterday, we took our kids to see the Mesa temple, thinking they might have some passing interest in THE place that facilitated their existence. We couldn't even get a good picture, everyone was moaning and complaining that their lives were in peril.
It made me think of this poem that was taped up on the wall in my dad's office. I was 11 or 12 when I read it for the first time, and I thought it was the most pithy, witty poem I had ever read. I'll put it in brown in honor of the landscape.
The devil wanted a place on earth
Sort of a summer home
A place to spend his vacation
Whenever he wanted to roam.
So he picked out Arizona
A place both wretched and rough
Where the climate was to his liking
And the cowboys hardened and tough.
He dried up the streams in the canyons
And ordered no rain to fall
He dried up the lakes in the valleys
Then baked and scorched it all.
Then over his barren country
He transplanted shrubs from hell.
. . .
Then he made scorpions and lizards
And the ugly old horned toad.
He placed spiders of every description
Under rocks by the side of the road.
Then he ordered the sun to shine hotter,
Hotter and hotter still.
Until even the cactus wilted
And the old horned lizard took ill.
. . .
'Twas summer now and Satan lay
By a prickly pear to rest.
The sweat rolled off his swarthy brow
So he took off his coat and vest.
"By Golly, " he finally panted,
"I did my job too well,
I'm going back to where I came from,
Arizona is hotter than Hell."
Next Up: Overdosing on Nostalgia . . . OR . . . "You Can't Go Home Again Angel"