Sonoma is too damn hot

For chaps like me, those who put the twee in tweed and refer to themselves as chaps whilst writing pithily for a 130-year-old institution, Fall is the saison d’etre. Throw in some elbow patches and a pipe stuffed with black cavendish as rain lightly drums the window and you get the picture.

Apparently, the Weather disagrees. Clearly, it didn’t get the memo about the Autumnal Equinox last week – a typical bureaucratic snafu and one that has resulted in triple digit temperatures at the tail-end of September. It’s Fall, damn it – where’s the must of antiquarian books, itchy wool scarves and warm apple cider? Incinerated from the heat, I assume.

Even autumnal sounds, like the crunch of leaves beneath muddy boots, have been replaced by, say, the sound of an egg sizzling on the sidewalk. How is it one can fry an egg on the sidewalk in Fall? I’ve no idea but I know an ex-veep with PowerPoint who can explain it.

Why would anyone in Sonoma want to fry an egg in on the sidewalk anyway? Oh, that’s right, because they can. In the Springs, Sonoma’s bastard half-sister where sidewalks are few and far between (like, between a highway and hard place) you can only fry an egg on the side of the road. The result is less egg and more bottle cap and cigarette butt omelet. But the fact remains, you could do it if you desired. The Weather, however, still scorches every grape on the vine.

A colleague of ours reportedly placed a sheet of unbaked cookies in the rear window of her car and giddily returned to find the dough baked and cookies warm to the touch. As charming and inventive as I find the way she embraced the heat-wave with open oven mitts, I cannot help but think she is somehow baiting the Weather gods do something truly heinous. Like turn our town into a smoking, pile of ash. Something tells me this woman would bring marshmallows to the inferno, however. And a very, very long stick.

Though we are frequently chided by public service announcements not cook our canines and kids in parked cars, people still do. Please don’t. Without the A/C cranked, our cars are ovens in the waiting. Just because your SUV looks like a Viking range on wheels doesn’t mean you are permitted to cook in it. We have taco trucks for that. Besides, it’s bad for the upholstery. You ever try to get Baked Alaskan off leather interior? I have and it ain’t pretty. The meringue bonds with the seats on a molecular level only to randomly remove itself whenever your spouse happens to sit there, which leads to the inevitable reprise of the “What the hell were you doing with a Baked Alaskan in your car anyway?” Like climate change – it’s complicated.

To simulate what Autumn once was for my one-year-old son, The Cannoli, I bundle him up in corduroy, put him in his car seat, crank the air-conditioning and spray water on the windows while rustling a box of potpourri, which is my “crunch of leaves beneath muddy boots” sound effect. He isn’t impressed. Touring him through the automatic carwash – my upcoming winter simulation – however, should be a hit. After the “storm,” we’ll don shorts and tank tops and go fry an egg on the east side. And next Summer, when’s he’s two, we’ll celebrate his birthday in the Plaza in shiny new fire-retardant suits while waiting for his birthday cake to finish baking in the car.

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