Spring is here and the Baby Boomers are leaving their second homes here in Arizona to head back to the shit holes from whence they came.
Sadly, now you must have them in your city or town, driving 30 mph on a road where the speed limit is 50, or greeting you at Wal Mart. I guess I never thought of that, Gentle Reader from the North, Midwest, or East Coast. When it’s great in your town, and nice weather and you just want to get out--suddenly you realize there's all this dead weight holding you up. You find yourself behind Nola Tizlu (actual name of my nosey "neighbor lady" back in SD) in her Buick Regal at a stop light--it turns green--and nothing happens--for a long time. W T F !!!
Snowbirds in my neck of the woods are affluent. They live in the gated community up the road a ways. I lived in South Dakota and went to university in Vermillion--cars take a beating in the weather up there, so when you see a 1979 Lincoln Continental with gold trim and the original cloth top still looking like it just came off the show-room floor--with Minnesota plates--Baby you know Daddy O is living the life.
When I was growing up, all my friends had beat up hand-me-downs. My first car was a 1974 Ford LTD we named Elvira. She was jalopy but the AC and radio worked. My sister had an even bigger land yacht-- a white Pontiac Bonneville with a turquoise interior. My best friend Matt had an old Buick we called the Barf-Mobile.
Mes amis, if you're driving to work and coming up behind a Buick that is in pristine condition, all shinny, and waxed--with gold trim, even worse if the Buick is black with a red cloth top and gold trim--GET AWAY AS FAST AS YOU CAN!!! Or just lumber behind the old fool as everyone else careens past you and gets to work with plenty of time to find a good parking spot.
The legacy left behind from the Baby Boomers will take centuries to repair. They have money, know how to invest it, and with their notion of privilege, they have pretty much destroyed the environment through real estate speculation—because that’s where the money is to be made in Arizona—or used to be.
Developers have planned entire communities around their every desire. The desert has been razed. And then the homes are way over-priced and gaudy, but still they come and buy them.
Which leads me to my point/end of my rant. Tucson air is awful—its polluted with dust from the creation of sprawl for retired snowbirds to live and fart and play golf. This part of the desert has always been historically dusty—even the Indians had to deal with it. But now even as Steve, Star of the Blog and I ride and train in what remains of the Sonoran Desert, we can start to see the pollution from Phoenix as we glide through the remote reservation lands we’ve ridden in over the years. It is a combination of smog and construction dust—oh, and bacteria and fungi.
Tucson pollution is growing, too—and it seems I’m always fighting off upper respiratory infections. I’ve had now bronchitis, pneumonia, valley fever, and mononucleosis.
These seem to be the maladies of the runners, triathlets, and cyclists of Tucson; eventually we have to deal with one of them in the course of our endeavors.
There is one more Horseman, Gentle Reader—more like the Mule of the Apocalypse—allergies. God I have them so fuckin’ awful! And I can get no relief! Just drugs that make me dopey and sleepy.
Only the hot hot blazing scorching cooking roasting unforgiving cancer causing ultraviolet rays of the Sun can stop the pollen, and my miserable allergies.
I pray for 100 degrees…