Off White

Off White

Off White

Grass is green and the sky is off-white. This is what the children of summer will be tought. Even if we don’t teach them, they’ll learn. How could they ignore this basic truth? In this world, we take truth and we twist and we distort and we pervert, because the definition is no longer understood. But this isn’t the sort of truth that can be molded to the individual. This is just the truth. The grass is green and the skies are off white. I dare you to challenge me.

In our Midwest way, we see these milky skies and we throw up our hands. Ah well, we say. It’s hazy today, others say. My daughter posted something on a social media site last night and wrote “Hazy Days”. Can’t you see what’s happening? We’re blind to all of it. Old timers say they haven’t seen haze like this since before the war. Which one, they never say. The haze is white and it’s blinding and it’s everywhere. The lake has taken on the color, too. What was once a shimmering blue sea is not a shimmering off-white sea. It’s still a sea, sure, but is it the same?

In California, the fires rage. We see headlines about this in our newspapers. Fires upon fires. The west is burning. The rest of it that isn’t ablaze is suffocating under the thinnest of air on the hottest of days. We are supposed to be sympathetic to their plight. Never mind they brag ceaselessly about their high sky and their sun and their forests and their rocks. This is what they don’t talk about. The fire and the heat and the smoke. That smoke, it’s everywhere. It’s choking and it’s clogging and those western blue skies have been painted with smoke.

If the smoke were to stay there and block out their sun, I wouldn’t really care. But their smoke has risen and the currents and the winds have carried it to us. A gift from the snobby western states to us. This haze overhead isn’t haze at all, rather it’s the smoky air that California exported here. Now we see nothing but white. A burning sunset and a white sky. The mornings are different now. The sun quieter. Muted. Doing its absolute best to give us the sunny days we crave, but helpless to burn through so much western smoke. The Midwest deserves better.

Today, when you see the white sky overhead, don’t ignore the truth of it all. It’s smoke from California and Canada. It’s bad enough they wish to plague us with their soulless culture, but now they send us their smoke. Our normally pristine air is stuck under a thick blanket of Californian ash. I can’t abide it. I won’t abide it. But for now, I’m helpless to fight it. The best we can do is look up and lay the blame where it belongs. These aren’t the hazy days of summer. They’re just perfect summer days that have been painted off-white by the western states and their incessant fires. Let’s hope they get their act together. I’m in the mood for some blue skies and I can barely remember what they look like.

(PS. After 15 years of writing on this blog I write with the presumed understanding that people know when I’m writing satire. I am continually proven wrong. Yes, I know the fires aren’t only in California. Yes, I know it’s not their fault. )

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