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Coping With the Heat by Remembering Those Who Serve in Iraq

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Message Sandy Sand
Whenever I start feeling sorry for myself and bitching about Southern California's current heat wave, all I have to do is think about our servicemen and women who are swealtering in that arid hellhole of Iraq.

Southern California is suffering through a heat wave that is unusual even for us who live in the San Fernando Valley just north of Los Angeles.

We're used to summer heat. Well sort of, as the Valley is known for being twelve, thirteen degrees hotter in the summer and twelve, thirteen degrees colder in the winter than the City.

I don't know if anybody really ever gets used to excessive heat, not even the people who live in countries where "heat" is a way of life...never to be gotten away from.

We, the denizens of the Valley, expect to have numerous 100-degree plus temps in the summer, but not 113 degrees day after day. In all my years living here I've never known it to happen.

Somebody, pleeeeeze tell W. that global warming and climate change are not crazed conspiracies hatched by left wing nutzos.

Not being able to tolerate any temperature extremes, I really picked the "right" place to live. Then chose to live in the "right" place in a two-story house, which is double trouble.

During this heat wave, while one daughter stuffs the freezer with wadded up pieces of wet toweling to make ice-cloths and shoving the food out of its pristine order, the other daughter hogs all the ice cubes, the dog lies panting on the tile floor and the parakeets liberally splash around in their drinking water [you think they'll use their rhinestone-encrusted pink plastic bath tub?], while I rant at the wall thermometer and the DWP, Department of Wasteful Plunder.

Wasteful Plunder, because they squander every penny we pay them in grossly high water and power rates by contracting out kajillions to a public relations firm to advertise when they're the only game in town, and give huge bonuses to their inept managers who have yet to build any new power plants.

There's hardly a home in the Valley that isn't air-conditioned.

But what good is it to install expensive air-conditioning units that make the electric meter's watt-counting wheel spin at a dizzying pace for the luxury of being able to cool ourselves, when the DWPers keep telling us not to use it?

Even The Terminator, Gov. Aaaarnold Schwarzenegger gets on TV telling us to terminate our electrical use and harangues us to set the thermostat higher and higher. It sounds like a song title.

Whenever I begin raging at being suffocatingly hot and all of the other stuff, I stop and think about our men and women in Iraq who are sweltering in that 120-degree hellhole while wearing 90 pounds of equipment, and have no air-conditioned buildings to duck into for cover, and that cools me off...a little.

Then I think about the man who sent them there and I get broiling hot all over again.

No relief there, because thinking about sending him and his family and all the neo-cons to that Faustian desert inferno is fruitless, because W. would love it. T'wouldn't bother him or the missis bit.

Gooooleee, pard. Lookee whar he an' she do their summerin'...stinkin' hot Crawford, Texas.

Well, the others might not like being in Iraq's summer heat so much. They all made sure as hell the flames of heat and war did touch their lily-livered asses during Vietnam.

Can anyone remember when the last time we saw the twins at the ranch? During the summer or anytime? Kennebunkport on the cool, blue-green sea with granny and grampy, yes; Crawford of hot, dry herdless ranch fame, no.

Thinking about our G.I.s in the heat of Iraq dodging bullets and I.E.D.s, and their families here who long to have them home, makes it easier to cope with sweltering days, and stops me from feeling sorry for myself.

I'm here in my air-conditioned home with running water and electricity, except for the occasional power outage, and in comparison, I have nothing to complain about.

So, here's a toast with a cooled glass of water to the men and women serving in Iraq.

May this be their last tortured summer spent in Iraq, and may there be a place somewhere, that's hotter than hell that will someday be home to the man and his men who sent them there.

Then we can all cool off.
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Sandy Sand began her writing career while raising three children and doing public relations work for Women's American ORT (Organization for Rehabilitation through Training). That led to a job as a reporter for the San Fernando Valley Chronicle, a (more...)
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