Thursday, July 12, 2007

Gore-Tex™ Does Not Do Heat

One of the things about living in BC (a province of Canada, one of ten, on the far west coast. We're like the Oregon of Canada, except more hippyish, without the high-brow Intel connections and a Nordstrom's on every block) is that the veracity of your Canadian-ness is always in question. It usually revolves around the lack of severe cold weather that plagues BC. If you haven't faced certain death from -40 C weather simply because you've missed your bus, you just ain't Canadian.

So when a particularly nippy winter hits us, we always get the transplanted Ontario-an/Newfoundlander/etc roll their eyes, purse their lips, slap their short-wearing leg and say "You think this is cold? This ain't cold..", then proceed with a none too entertaining foray into the finer points of hypothermia and the futile effort to combat it with a Tim Horton's double double.

There is something within the (let's face it) male psyche that yearns to undergo the greatest hardship, the most extreme conditions. For bragging rights on who is the most 'rugged', 'manly', and heretofore undisputed Man of the Woods. As a BCer, you must sigh, take another sip of your half-decaf-none-fat-soy-double-expresso-capu-double-froth-machiatto frappe, slowly finish your marijuana roach, and say "You don't say?"

The curse of a being in BC is that the body is simply not exposed to any extremes in temperature. Extremes in annual precipitation, yes. Extremes in combating Seasonal Affect Disorder while biting back tears of anguish about living the middle of a temperate rain-forest where it actually rains, certainly. But the body of a BCer simply has no defense or preparation for any weather that cannot be countered by a good Gore-Tex™ shell.

Which is why when it gets hot in BC, specifically the Lower Mainland, it gets Really Hot. Where Really Hot is a function of absolute temperature multiplied by the Coefficient of Weather Wimpiness. In short, it's been approximately 50 degrees Celsius (in perceived heat) here in the Lower Mainland. Entire cars are melting on the street. Black top on slightly inclined streets are flowing down like so much rock infested, tarred molasses. The very air we breath hints of brimstone and there have been reports that this air moved at a breeze can set small pets afire. Clouds literally explode in the air, like some sort of napalm experiment gone awry. Every building has faded under the sun making all of Vancouver look like a massive, poorly designed Disney Theme Park ghost town. Horned demons have been seen to be lazing about on park benches, attired in what can only be described as "sauna wear". People worry not so much about hyperthermia than they do about igniting instantly in a fury of spontaneous combustion. At least, this is the perception of many Vancouverites, particularly me.

But you know, it's just heat. In a month or two, it'll be back to monsoon season. At least we won't have to have our Canadian-ness assaulted by Arctic Winter Loving Easterners. For now, at least, there is no national pride in suffering through a heat wave.


Monkfish said...

Haha, funny. A "heat wave", two days do not make a heat wave. You are so Vancouver.

Niteowl said...

Hey! YOU ARE TOO NOW! Ex-pat indeed!

Gary James said...

Summer here is two hot days and a thunderstom, though it seems to be monsoon season now.

Niteowl said...

Well, at least you have the monarchy, the Chunnel, and that marvellous cook with a heavy lisp who looks to be all of 19.

All we have going for us are shops with a stunning assortment of rain-gear.