Here in southern California, we’re in the midst of an epic drought, among the worst on record. I took my family skiing last week; here was the immediate response from friends who heard we were going: “There’s snow?” The answer: yes, but only because some of the resorts make snow. The skiing was wonderful, especially if your preference is snow skiing in 55-degree weather. (Ever wonder, back in the day and as I did as a 14-year-old boy, how Playboy bunnies could stand being photographed skiing around in the snow naked? Now you know: They were skiing in southern California sometime between February and March.) Outside those manmade snow areas, here’s how our usually snow-crested mountains looked: long runnels of dirt and rock, dry as a bone, down to the skeleton of the mountain.
So, now, it’s going to rain. The weather forecast is 100% for rain tomorrow and Friday. As my dentist remarked yesterday, when is the last time you saw a weather forecast predict 100% there was going to be rain? Usually, they’ll leave themselves at least a small margin of error. Nope, now we’re predicting 100% chance of rain. And now here’s the additional forecast: moving out (temporarily) of the epic drought, now we need to fear epic car crashes, mudslides, and drownings, because it’s going to rain. As I was writing this, I got an emergency text alert (!) from the California Highway Patrol. Here’s what it says: “Rain Expected in LA County. Are You and Your Vehicle Ready for Wet Weather Driving?” As though I should go out and throw a poncho and some wellingtons onto my car. Or something.
These latest fear alerts are brought to you by the state that previously gave you mud slides, earthquakes, the Manson Family, the real killer whom O.J. Simpson still hasn’t been able to find, the mystery man who killed Robert Blake’s wife in the exact minutes while Blake was out retrieving something from his truck, plagues of crop-eating bugs, gang wars, riots, and so much more. We survived all of them. That we’re now getting whipped up to fear the rain that we so desperately need tells you much about the fear-industrial complex.