I loved Frank Terranella’s entry yesterday about retiring in Arizona because of the dry heat. But let’s be honest here – the entire state is a desert. Of course it’s dry – bone dry – like the desiccated remains of livestock and other unfortunate critters that found themselves stranded in that dry heat a little too far from water for a little too long. Without air conditioning and plenty of water, every living thing in Arizona would quickly dry up and blow away.
Then there’s sunny Florida, a perennial punchline about people with blue hair peering over steering wheels and peeing into Depends, filling their days with golf, Mah Jongg, and kvetching about their health. Its climate is the exact opposite of Arizona – it’s a giant swamp. Like Arizona, it gets hot as hell, but it’s a moist, clingy, slice-the-air-with-a-knife kind of heat. Without air conditioning it would be incredibly uncomfortable, but there sure would be plenty of water – oozing up from the ground, or pounding down in torrents during one of those severe thunderstorms that target Florida’s trailer parks every other day, or simply hovering in the ambient air.
Desert or swamp, desert or swamp…it’s so hard to choose. With its ravenous mosquitoes, water snakes, giant cockroaches, and prehistoric eating machines (alligators, to you Northerners), Florida seems to have its fair share of icky predators. But so does Arizona – it’s loaded with rattlesnakes, tarantulas, and scorpions.
Okay, let’s call that a draw. It’s really a matter of preference – would you rather spend your declining days in the sauna of Arizona, or the steam room of Florida?
And what about the future? For all we know, Arizona’s water supply may evaporate as a result of climate change. And the melting polar ice caps could soon raise ocean levels so much that most of Florida would be underwater.
Maybe I’ll just stay in New Jersey.