The temperature betting pool

Back in DC, the local NBC affiliate’s weatherman would take bets as to the first snowfall of the year; whoever came closest without going over (thank you, Price Is Right, for that little construct) would get a visit from the local celeb, who would shovel their walkway with a special golden shovel. To call it absurd would be a bit of an understatement.

Out here in Walla Walla, the betting is on when we’ll get our first 90-degree day. I don’t really see this as comparable to snow in DC, because 90 + days are a plenty in the um, desert, but snow days, last year’s winter notwithstanding, are actually fairly uncommon in DC. Looking for the 100 + point seems like the closer approximation to me. But fine, the Union-Bulletin is looking for 90-degrees as its benchmark. I’m not sure what the award is—maybe a free 10-minute lawn watering? A golden chalice with some ice cubes and lemonade? We don’t have a local television station, so there’s really no weather-forecasting person to bring anything to the winner. Like other things in WW, the glory is in just being right. That way there’s no real expenditure associated with the contest.

The heat and cold have been struggling over the last couple of weeks, and we even had a thunderstorm here a couple of nights ago, during the college’s “Naked Beer Mile” event. I don’t suppose it stopped anyone from trotting around the quad naked, but certainly, I was not going to head over there to witness their fortitude-slash-stupidity. We learned last year to keep our shades drawn that evening.

The tradition is this: the cross-country team, obviously a group of exhibitionists and nudists, sponsors a run around the quad on campus at midnight on the day after classes end in the spring. We hadn’t been forewarned about this last year until a few hours beforehand, and as we live on the edge of campus, heard shouts of “naked” from some students who, through the loudness and slurredness of their communication, seemed fairly intoxicated. Ah, college. I had friends who pushed a refrigerator out of a second story window, so I suppose this is par for the course, and less environmentally troublesome.

What is particularly amusing, once one gets past the communal birthday-suits-are-the-most-aerodynamic thing, is the email that went out in advance of the Mile this year, with some advice for participants:

In preparation for the big event, we would just like to take a second to play the grandma role and remind you of a few ground rules. First, if you are traveling from off campus, you should be wearing clothes when you arrive and when you leave. Your neighbors and especially the authorities do not appreciate public nudity. Second, do not enter any academic buildings, residence halls, or the library, no matter how tempted you are to do so. Finally, please do not set off any fireworks. Seriously. This quickly catches the attention of the police, and it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep their presence to a minimum.

This email amuses me to no end, because:

  1. I can’t see any grandma offering any of this advice to young adults who were preparing to run around in their skivvies.
  2. I can’t believe people need to be reminded to wear clothing in public.
  3. I might have reversed the sentiment of the phrase “your neighbors and especially the authorities.” In our house, it’s “the authorities and especially your neighbors” who don’t appreciate your naked bodies skirting across the lawn on the way to campus.
  4. (Really 3a) I can’t believe the email author had to give a reason why public nakedness is wrong.
  5. Students really are tempted to go to the library au naturelle? Seriously? Mightn’t you be seeing these librarians again? You want them to be able to recall that image of you as they’re checking out your books or arguing over fines you owe? Seriously?
  6. I just can’t imagine that fireworks and alcohol are a good combination, especially when there’s not even the barrier of cotton shorts or t-shirts, much less serving as an SOS flare for your activity.

Yes, I was once in college. And I poured orange paint on Penn State’s Nittany Lions as a prank. But darn it, I did it with my clothes on.



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3 Comments on “The temperature betting pool”

  1. Lex
    May 14, 2010 at 11:10 am #

    Why Ev! I do believe you have hit grumpy-old-man status! Congrats!

    • evmaroon
      May 14, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

      Bah, humbug!

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