The #1 Reason I Will Never Live In Alabama

Forget the overpopulation of self-righteous Bible-beaters. Forget the Ku Klux Klan and the legions of Confederate Flag-waving toothless rednecks with rifles strapped to the backs of their twenty-foot-tall Chevy pickup trucks. Forget the chew-spewing truck stop waitresses and the forty thousand mullets and the fact that the only music you’re likely to hear on the radio is 70s and 80s cock rock (1). Forget the hummingbird-sized mosquitoes and the deadly poisonous Copperhead snakes and the swamps and the alligators and the pollution-laden smog and the unfortunate proximity to all things Florida. The number one reason I will never live in Alabama is this:


Every year, roundabout August, New England turns into Alabama–complete with mosquitoes the size of cargo planes–and I don’t like it one stinking bit. There is nothing that makes me want to move back to California and live forever with a complete absence of weather than an eighty-degree day in which five seconds after stepping out of the shower I feel as though I need another one. Yesterday, the air was so laden with icky, fetid moisture that by the time I finished my twelve-hour shift (inside an air-conditioned restaurant with only one door open), the backs of my knees had red chafing marks from being stuck to the insides of my jeans, which were not tight at all. This morning, before the rain (2) came, I woke up in my bed, wrapped in my sheets like a burrito–not because I’d slept that violently, but because my sheets were stuck to my skin as though I’d rolled in a vat of glue before climbing under them.

Directly opposite August on the calendar is February, the only other month in which I find New England to be completely intolerable. February brings with it not only cold, but soul-sucking winds so strong and dry that they literally rip the skin straight off of my face and every other part of skin that’s exposed for even a minute. The wind is cold, so cold in fact that it’s nearly impossible not to find oneself clenched involuntarily into the shape of a praying mantis, with a resulting backache that lasts until the middle of March. Toes cease having sensation, scarves must cover as much area as hijabs in order to be at all effective, and any attempt at remaining fashionable is thrown completely out the window.

Contrary to the popular belief among a bajillion ignoramuses in Long Beach, the hideously ugly and hideously trendy Ugg Boot was invented for the purpose of surviving February in New England [or Montana or Colorado or anywhere else that actually has snow (3)], not for wearing with mini-skirts in Malibu in the middle of July. Likewise, woolen knit “beanies” were a necessity among desperately cold New Englanders long before they became fashinable among expertly disheveled surfers in the O.C.

That said, I vastly prefer the face-stripping agony of February to the sweaty, gooey misery of August. This is because I appreciate being able to wear clothes–even if I have to heap them on like a sherpa in order to stay alive. In the August humidity in New England, any piece of clothing more substantial than a G-string bikini is akin to cruel and unusual punishment, even when it’s relatively cold(4). And we all know that at least 99% of the population would never, or should never, even contemplate wearing such a thing–myself emphatically included. If I were a creature incapable of sweating–say an armadillo or a supermodel–I may consider August to be the preferable month to be in New England.

I will never, however, consider living in Alabama. Even if I do spontaneously turn into an armadillo. Because in Alabama, it feels like Alabama in July all the damn time.

1. Yes, I know every one of these assertions is a completely unabashed stereotype.
2. The fact that humidity of the magnitude that Boston has been experiencing for the past few days is a near-guarantee that there will be plentiful and violent thunder storms is the only remotely positive thing about the month of August whatsoever.
3. Or, more likely, August–which in the Southern Hemisphere is winter–in the middle of the desert in Australia, where Uggs were invented by people who likely don’t give a dingo’s ass about fashion or what Paris Hilton is wearing, ever.
4. By “relatively cold,” of course, I mean “under eighty degrees.”

~ by saltgirlspeaks on 29 July, 2007.

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