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Rainbirds Are Calling
By Ed Tasca
The rainbirds are here and that means the beginning of the rainy season. As you know, rainbirds are not really birds at all and no one has ever seen one chirring. They’re really insects I’m told, probably cutter ants sawing down your cypress tree. When the rain does occur, it will pour mostly at night. But if it occurs during the daytime, it will not come down between the hours of two and four. This year Mexican farmers are predicting a plentiful rainy season. Not sure how they know this, but, oddly, they were interviewed after coming out of the movie Noah.
Hundreds of years ago, the Aztecs who settled here took weather matters into their own hands by sacrificing handsome youngsters to the god Tlaloc, god of rain, fertility, and water; and feared for his ability to send hail, thunder and lightning. Sacrifices continued until the rains came, in which case they would record that number of sacrifices as the right number of sacrificial treats to achieve divine satisfaction and tubs of jicamas and camotes. It seemed good value for youngsters at the time. In a preposterous and bizarre sort of way, one has to admit the agri-business scheme worked and, weirdly, continues to work to this day.
What to look for? The rains will be refreshing. They clean the air and the lungs and bring the gushing flora and salitre here to full bloom. They also occasionally combine with cement dust in the air to give us sightings of the Virgin Mary.
Accompanying the rains are often furious winds, especially during hurricane season, September/October. Hurricanes seem to be getting more powerful (the word hurricane itself apparently named after a miserable Mayan god, Hurikan – today hurricanes are called Jubal, Todd and Rita). Hurricane winds have been powerful and chaotic enough to crash through Mexico’s general trash dumps and recycle misplaced chicken bones and triple-A batteries.
What to look for? Some of us will find our roof furniture at the Pemex. Some of us won’t find our roof furniture at all. Some of us will have new roof furniture. All we need to do is turn it upright and hope no one claims it. Often, driving winds will actually whip moving cars around, where it becomes possible to be stopped by an officer for mambo-ing on the highway.
Lightning can be a nasty and unpredictable weather condition. Even if you’re indoors, you’re still not safe. You must stay off corded phones, computers, and other electrical equipment. Avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets. Stay away from porches, windows, and doors. That leaves you in the middle of your living room with “What’s App” and a bong. Also it is not advisable to lie on concrete floors even if you’re on your fifth michelada.
What to look for? No outdoor area is safe during a thunderstorm, especially if you are anywhere near a Zeta Gas truck. When outdoors, experts recommend these steps to reduce your risk of being struck by lightning:
Come down from elevated heights. That means: get to ground level, not put the bong away.
Never shelter under a tree, stay away from bodies of water, stone statues, high metal gates and church spires. In other words, get out of Ajijic.
If your power is out and the roof dog next door has been struck by lightning, don’t hook jumper cables to its ears. Call CFE and have them do it.
If it’s raining inside your house, you have a leak (lightning also enters through wall and roof cracks). If you do not have a leak anywhere in your house during rainy season -- your roof, your windows, your skylights -- this is God’s way of saying he is pleased with your life choices and the right cauking.
What to look for? If no liquid or electric states enter your home during the rainy season, please be kind enough to notify this magazine (not the editor – he has no divine connections) and let us know about this miracle, so that we might come to your home and be healed.