Herewith, a useful Q&A about the drought of 2012.
Q: Drought? That's what they always say. But food shows up in the grocery store, and this morning when I turned on the shower, sand didn't come out of the nozzle. This is typical of your newspaper's pro-rain slant.
A: Well, we won't starve, but the drought will affect grain and corn prices, which will hit cereal makers hard. They've already shrunk the box and the contents, so it's possible they will start selling cereal in single-nodule services. Lucky Charm. Wheatie. Silly Rabbit, Trick is for a kid.
You'll hear calls to divert corn from ethanol production to food production, especially since the United States is pumping so much oil these days. As long as we're using food for fuels, perhaps someone will come up with a way to turn all that North Dakota crude into food. It's already a main ingredient in movie theater butter, so there's progress on the research front.
Q: They say I should water my trees. How do I know when they really need it?
A: Trees are plants, and plants rely on hydrostatic pressure to remain upright. When that 60-foot elm on the boulevard is completely droopy and lying over the lawn or sprawled on the street, it's a cry for help. Hose it down and it'll perk right up, often quickly enough to catapult squirrels two blocks or more.
Q: Who's at risk in this heat wave?
A: The Minnesota Health Department's website includes the elderly, the sick, pets, people whose bodies are mostly wax, etc. The most interesting warning: PEOPLE WHO LIVE ALONE. Why? Because heat coalesces into humanoid form, grasps a kitchen knife, sneaks up behind you, and there's no one there to say, TURN AROUND! The weather is corporeal and homicidally inclined! Or there's another reason, which they kindly omit: If you pass out from the heat, you're on your own.
Q: When will the drought end?
A: Meteorologists are watching a low-pressure system in Myanmar. Or, as they said in 1963, weather men are watching a low-pressure system in Burma. It should get here eventually and end the drought. That's the good news. Bad news: Get ready for headlines about the Labor Day Blizzard.
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