Hello Weather

Or how to survive small talk in Texas

How to Survive Small Talk

Start small by converting average temperatures
from Celsius to Fahrenheit and back-
multiply by nine, divide by five, and add thirty-two.
Then, begin to include the heat index, the real feel temperature
that takes into account how effectively your sweat is cooling your body.
Say things like, “But it really feels like.”

When you’re ready, move on to terminology.
You can start with simple words like storm,
advisory, breeze, humidity, muggy.
Then, refresh your vocabulary with visibility,
barometric pressure, tidal wave, Gulf stream.
Familiarize yourself with the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale.
Know the difference between El Niño and La Niña,
in the event that it’s in the news again.

Now you’re ready to memorize a few common phrases.
When in doubt, begin by saying, “we could really use some rain,”
sometimes substituting the pronoun for other nouns
such as- but not limited to- farmers, cattle, crops and reservoirs.
Assuming the season is summer, be prepared to say it is hotter than hell
or that you can’t wait till it cools off again.
If rain is in the forecast, adapt by arguing that it still won’t be enough.

For optimal small talk, do your research.
Arm yourself with the current lake and water supply levels.
Pay attention to the growing season: discuss cotton production
or how you can’t believe the size of the watermelons this year.
If you feel the conversation slowing, don’t hesitate to ask someone
where they were during the Jarrell Tornado or Hurricane Ike
Somehow, people always remember how much damage can come from the wind.

About Caren

Creative writing professor, craft beer enthusiast, & general foodie- so basically a typical alcoholic poet living in London.
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One Response to Hello Weather

  1. Holden says:

    I don’t know why it took me so long to read this. But for some reason it explained why I was annoyed with most of the Texans I travelled with to visit you guys.

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