Jack Ohman editorial cartoons and blog

California state government fixes the heat wave!

Published: Tuesday, Jul. 9, 2013 - 5:52 pm

Having just recently concluded my first stretch of 100 degree plus weather in Sacramento (today it's only 99), people have asked me how I've been holding up. Being from Portland, Oregon most recently, this kind of heat is a rumor. In fact, I would say that the typical summer temperature in Portland is 66, a number that is just warm enough to make you sweat in a fleece, but makes you cold if you don't have a fleece. My former life as a kicky Minnesotan didn't really expose me to 115 degree heat, either, but I have certainly have nostalgic memories of boyhood spent in temperatures 145 degrees cooler.

That thing about your tongue sticking to cold metal? That's true. I did it once. I put my tongue on my Sears telescope while trying to see Comet Kohoutek in 1973 (remember that?).

It still kind of hurts.

So now that I've been baptized in this Sacramento convection oven, I discovered that my house has a thermostat that creates the illusion that I have air conditioning, but actually doesn't. I looked. I do have large ceiling fans, but the one in the bedroom sounds like a DC-3 engine with a feathering issue. So I can't use it. One night last week, when the surface temperature in Sacramento was about that of Venus, my house registered a 93 degree reading at ten o'clock at night. 

Come on, Delta breeze.

Another thing that happened was that I lost five pounds in three days and did nothing. At all. I ate normally. Getting the last five off is slavery if you do it the exercise way. I called it the California Diet--you breathe the air.

Heat in Sacramento is a given, of course, and people have their own strategies for coping. Interestingly, this is the first time in my life I have been living in a house with a swimming pool and it was simply too hot to use it. This goes double for my (very used, broken-down) convertible, which rarely has the roof taken down because of my fear of any coloration (I am from Minnesota, and enjoy the melanin levels of your typical Norwegian/Swedish/Danish/Irish/Neurotic).

My dad used to say that everyone talks about the weather and no one ever does anything about it. Well, let's say we aren't undergoverned here in Sacramento, and my question is this:

Why don't they do something about the weather? They've done something about everything else.

My understanding is that the state of California is, in fact, about to do the following about the weather:

GOV. JERRY BROWN: Will issue statement saying we are soft and weak, and that high temperatures cleanse the bodies of impure thoughts and deeds. Will note that weather sh** happens. Sutter will be misted.

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE: Will introduce AB 564, a bill to mandate that "average daytime temperatures may not rise above 80 degrees or below 79 degrees, and that any variation above or below the mean will result in an extra $160 in per diem." Will create special commission to "look into the root societal causes of weather."

CALTRANS: Will build state of the art "weather bridge" to transport Sacramentans out of town faster. Advises bolts and cables may fail above 95 degrees.

Of course, none of these governmental remedies were enough, naturally, so they decided to create the brand new...

DEPARTMENT OF CALIFORNIA HEAT, OZONE, AND TEMPERATURES (CALHOT): Will closely monitor the weather. Will issue "peak thermal spike advisory reports" in triplicate. All state residents must fill out "State of California Heat Abatement and Mitigation Claim Form" to be eligible for a "heat adjustment and diversion device."

Oh, and they're closed from 10-2. 

It gets hot then.

Read more articles by Jack Ohman



Editorial Cartoonist Jack Ohman

Jack Ohman Jack Ohman joined The Sacramento Bee in 2013. He previously worked at the Oregonian, the Detroit Free Press and the Columbus Dispatch. His work is syndicated to more than 200 newspapers by Tribune Media Services. Jack has won the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, the Scripps Foundation Award, the national SPJ Award, the National Headliner Award, the Overseas Press Club Award, and he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2012 and the Herblock Prize in 2013. He has written and illustrated 10 books, many of them about fly fishing. Jack has three grown children.

Contact Jack at johman@sacbee.com.

Latest Cartoons

Press section
At the BOE Giant leaps
Sacramento Bee Job listing powered by Careerbuilder.com
Quick Job Search
Sacramento Bee Jobs »
Buy
Used Cars
Dealer and private-party ads
Make:

Model:

Price Range:
to
Search within:
miles of ZIP

Advanced Search | 1982 & Older

TODAY'S CIRCULARS