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What's the definition of "strange weather"?
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Last weekend brought a wave of stunningly beautiful vacation-like weather that must have been imported from the south of France or somewhere that has low humidity, fluffy-puffy clouds, and caressingly soft whisper breezes. In its sultry temptress voice, this weather siren called to me: “Roll down your car windows. Open the sunroof. Turn off the air conditioning and breathe the real summer air.” Not having the stalwart nature of Odysseus, I gave in to the voices and opened the car to the outside world. The sun was warm, the exhaust fumes from other vehicles were minimal, and all was good.

Then there was a rustling, whirring, buzzing sound as if a leaf had gotten stuck in the edge of the sunroof. Not wanting to stop for something so inconsequential, I ignored it. Until the something, that was most definitely not a leaf, let go of its grip on the roof, zoomed past my face, brushed my leg and caused me to shriek while careening around into an intersection. I screeched into John Harvard’s Brew House parking lot and frantically got out of the car, brushing at myself thinking the thing had landed on me and was in the process of laying eggs. It took me about five minutes to locate the revolting winged insect and fling it from the car, where it had been hiding under the seat, undoubtedly planning another attack. At first I though the prophecy of drought, earthquakes, famine, pestilence, war, and strange weather (as defined on christiansunite.com – those who proclaim in the most loving, accepting spirit of Christianity: “If you don’t like our Stars and Stripes, if you don’t like our pledge of allegiance, if you don’t like God Bless America, if you don’t like One Nation Under God, if you don’t like In God We Trust, if you don’t like our Christian ways, dial 1-800-LEAVE-USA, if busy 1-800-HIT-THE-ROAD, Financial Assistance is available, call 1-800-DEPORT-YOU.”) was coming true, but then I realized it was just a really big ass cicada that had been involuntarily deported from its home in Wayne and deposited on the asphalt in Strafford.

That evening while I was sitting outside trying to rid myself of visions of locusts as big as puppies, I felt something crawling in my hair. My first thought, ingrained by my mother since I was very small, was “TICK!!! ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER!!!” After ripping a goodly portion of my hair from my scalp, I felt the carapace of a brittle Japanese beetle crack between my fingers. They are only supposed to have a 30 to 45-day lifespan and I thought the infestation we suffered in early July was long gone, but this one remaining senior citizen had apparently decided that my head looked like a good place to retire. He was also summarily deported to the great beetle beyond. Or perhaps he’ll be reincarnated as a politician.

As I settled into bed that night, getting the multitude of pillows arranged just-so, I thought I might have heard the worst sound of all – the whining-buzzing-droning of a disease-carrying blood-sniffing mosquito – but put it off to all the other insects-of-the-day. Although there were no 747-sized creepy-crawlies in my dreams that night, I did wake up with a series of itchy red welts in places that polite people do not scratch in public. Damn bugs won after all.

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