It’s Not Summer in El Paso Until: How El Pasoans Know
Real El Pasoans don’t need a calendar to tell them summer has arrived. We have other ways to make that determination. For me, it’s not summer in El Paso until I look forward to coming to work just so I can bask in the refrigerated air I don't have the luxury of at home.
I got a little curious as to what signaled summer to other El Pasoans and so I had our listeners and Facebook followers complete the phrase, “For me, it’s not summer in El Paso until ___.”
James, who apparently is also a member of the I-can’t-afford-real-air-conditioning-either Club, wrote that he knows it’s summer around here when "you stay indoors with your swamp cooler on even if it doesn't seem to work.” That, of course, being the lesser of the two evils because at least you're in the shade.
Another way those of us who live in so-called "Hell Paso" know it's summer, according to Julie C., is when "you burn your leg with the metal seat belt buckle." Patty called in that she feels the burn too, only in a slightly lower place. Get your mind out of the gutter, lower than that. The feet. “You can no longer walk on the sidewalk barefooted,” she told us.
For others, like Karla S., it’s during Monsoon and you're "peeling you’re sweaty behind off of any plastic/leather seat." Ewww, swamp butt. Pennie P. knows it’s summer in El Paso when she starts perspiring, too: “Until my fat rolls (longjas) start sweating.”
Or how about Dominique J.’s contribution: “Until your mom makes caldo.”
Haha, yeah you gotta love our culture. It’s over 100 degrees for the umpteenth day in a row, all the local media is making a big deal about it with survival tips and pet warnings, the Extreme Weather Task Force is giving away box fans, and there’s mom busy in the kitchen making a hot, steaming pot of caldo for lunch.
Is she trying to give us heatstroke, or what? Nah. Pay attention to the heat advisory and take the extra precautions for sure, but go ahead and slurp away. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, science got you.