As the plane approached the Mesa, Arizona, airport around 9 p.m. last Thursday, our pilot got on the intercom to make the usual pre-landing announcements. We were arriving on time, he said, and hoped we had enjoyed our flight.
“The temperature in the Phoenix area is approximately the same temperature as the surface of the sun,” he remarked. “It is currently 108 degrees.”
Nine o’clock at night and still 108 degrees.
I looked at all the people on the plane and wondered to myself, “Who are all these people, and why in the world are they going to Phoenix, Arizona, in August?!?”
A person would have to be crazy.
Of course, I was on the plane, but that was different. My little grandson was going to be baptized on Sunday.
Gosh, I hate to sweat. Golly, I hate to swelter. Gee whiz, it’s hotter than blazes in Arizona in August.
As we drove on I-10 across Phoenix on Friday afternoon, I watched in fascination as the dashboard thermometer on our rented VW Jetta climbed higher than I had ever seen a car thermometer climb before.
We started out on the west side of Phoenix at an eye-popping 119 degrees.
The closer we got to downtown Phoenix with its eight lanes of traffic, the more that thermometer climbed.
After passing through the Papago Freeway tunnel in downtown Phoenix, the thermometer hit its high point:
We drove past a motorist, stranded beside the freeway with his car’s hood raised. A mile further down the highway, a car was pulled over for speeding, the flashing lights of a patrol car cutting through the shimmering heat. A two-car fender-bender at an exit ramp made me wonder if the heat might turn a minor traffic accident into a homicide in the 120-degree temper-flaring heat.
Who in his or her right mind visits Phoenix in August?
Determined grandmothers who want to see their grandsons baptized, that’s who.