Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Albuquerque, Jewel of the Caribbean Sea

Tonight at a Trader Joe's in Chicago, I overheard the following exchange between an intensely bearded young checkout clerk and the young woman he was trying to impress:

BEARD BOY: Global warming is totally disrupting the planet, you know. I mean, like, they tracked this storm from, you know, the South Pole all the way up to Albuquerque, and so there was this big snowstorm, like yesterday, in Albuquerque that totally covered the city in snow. And it's like 19 degrees there, you know? In Albuquerque.

CUSTOMER: How cold is it there usually this time of year?

BEARD BOY: Well... I mean they don't even have heaters in Albuquerque, you know, in the houses. They don't install them. They'll have like a fireplace sometimes, you know, but that's all.

It's weird because until I heard this conversation, I'd remembered everybody above (and most of those below) the poverty line in Albuquerque having central heat in their houses because it was a mile above sea level and got cold in the winter. But that must have just been the gentle, warming breezes drifting off the Caribbean.

(You're from New Mexico? Really? You speak such good English.)

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