It’s been lovely in Seattle the last couple of days: sunny, slightly warm and a nice soft breeze. My dog, Roxy, loves it! She demands to go outside and then will lie on her back in the middle of the parking lot, little legs stuck up in the air, soaking up as many rays as I will allow.
I noticed today, when I was buying stamps (someone has to keep the post office afloat), a lot of people are out and about. Doesn’t anyone work during the day anymore? Then I remembered a story, a scary story my mom told me when I was a little kid.
It was an exceptionally bad winter, around 197…well, it doesn’t matter what year, and when the temperature finally crawled back into the 60s I was shocked at the amount of people outside. I don’t think I had ever seen so many people. So I did what any normal kid would do: I asked my mom what on earth was going on.
She told me about these vitamin D deficient creatures, basement dwellers in the little city of Seattle, who only came out in temperatures above sixty. Cold-blooded, lily-white people who tentatively step outside at the first hint of flip flop season. Normally during the dark season, these sun worshiping people ran from their homes to their work and occasionally to the taverns or the mall, barely setting a foot outside on the mildew-y sidewalks. They were so well hidden, in bad weather, you never truly realized how many people lived in the greater Seattle area.
These creatures, zombies really, write letters and call anyone in the media, anyone who will listen, about the horrible weather conditions in this God-forsaken part of the country. You can spot them easily because they say things like, “why can’t it just rain already? What’s with this drizzle? I can’t use my windshield wipers! It wouldn’t be so cold if it wasn’t so moist all the time. If you would have warned me about the weather, during that long ago visit in August, I never would have left California!”
My mom talked in hushed tones so as not to draw their attention to her. She didn’t want one of them getting close to her, blinding her with their uncovered, not quite completely freckled skin. She warned me to watch myself around them as they are usually drunk and crazy on the unexpected deluge of sun and warmth. Usually these zombies are happy hanging out in their dark caves, reading books and watching TV. But when the sun comes out, they come out.
My mom explained this viral disease, here in the Northwest, this Sun Worshiping Virus, which stays dormant until the following things occur: 1. At least three months of cold/wet/miserable weather. 2. A sudden rain stoppage and a clearing of the atheist-creating cloud cover. 3. An increase in temperature: above 60 degrees F will cause a minor outbreak; 70 will cause a full blown epidemic; 80…well…we won’t talk about that.
A couple of days after this incident, the temperature reached seventy for the first time in ages and we had an epidemic on our hands. Churches, schools and most local businesses were deserted, the Virus causing a zombie like state in usually normal people. These zombies left their respectable lives to be cured at Alki Beach, Greenlake, Lake Washington and anywhere else you’re allowed to wear as few clothes as possible no matter how inappropriate. You will never see so many people.
Many of us native Washingtonians, when seeing the weather on the news and understanding the implications of the first truly warm day, will avoid these areas like the plague. You will find us at work, trying to keep businesses open. You will also find us at the library, inhaling the potential for hours of reading, or at the museum…anywhere we know the zombies won’t go during an amazingly beautiful explosion of light.
This weekend, the weather is supposed to be wonderful. It’s supposed to reach 80 degrees on Sunday and Monday. Now, I don’t want to alarm you…just warn you about the possibilities for the apocalypse which might happen this weekend. Just know the throngs of staggering, sunglasses and bikini-wearing people who are going to appear, all at the same time, on the streets and waterways of Seattle.
There will be traffic gridlock, much worse than our normal variety. There will be arguments, perhaps coming to blows, over that last parking spot available in the Seattle Metro Area. The desperate Worshipers finally stripping away the last of the decades old idea of what a friendly place Seattle can be. Someone may get hit with a fish, while elbowing a little old lady out of the way, at the Pike Place Market; there will be too many people for a safe throwing lane.
I am lucky: I have plans to be out of town this weekend. I probably won’t venture out to Greenlake or Alki again until September or so, after the finally sated, vitamin D overloaded creatures make it back to school and back underground. I wish you Seattleites luck this weekend but, please, if you don’t have to be out and about…stay inside with the doors and windows locked! At least use public transportation.