A Floridian knew right away Wednesday morning that there was a change in the air. An Arizonan, say, might not have noticed. The dog Louie knew it, and bounded out the door. Even at the end of his long morning walk he leapt playfully and wanted to go on, instead of his usual practice of pulling on his leash to go inside and collapse on the bed, where he is not allowed under any circumstance, except for every day, and for sleeping between us at night. Other than that we are very strict.
At any rate there was a change. Even as the day got along and the temperature climbed toward 90, the relative humidity was about 60 percent, which meant, not sopping wet, and there was a kind breeze. As long as we keep fouling off the hurricanes coming at us across the Atlantic, this is fine by me. Of course this is still September, and we know we are in for heat and hurricane threats until, typically, November. That schedule has changed, too; it used to be that the first good spell of relief came in October, but now sweltering in one's Halloween costume is the norm.
I blame Obama.
For the first three nights of the week one of the professional baseball teams from New York City was in town to play the local club, and we went to one game and watched the other two. The voices of the team's television announcers, Dewayne and Kevin, are nightly presences in my house; I probably hear Dewayne's voice more, in fact, than any other human being's save one, and find myself announcing the game in his voice a split second before he does ("WAVE and a miss!").
The local club, the Tampa Bay Rays, not only is likely to be in the playoffs for only the second time in history, but also remains in a sort of Texas death-match with the New York club, the Yankees, for the best record in baseball, and for first place in the American League East, so that this three-game series was one of the premiere showdowns in professional sports this week. The Tampa Bay area responded by not buying all the tickets. Either we are not, as the expression goes, a "baseball town," or sticking the joint at one psychologically isolated end of Tampa Bay might not have been the best strategy. I am just saying.
Also they are playing other fall sports now, I think.
The election is still more than six weeks away, so for now there have been slightly fewer commercials on television, which is a plus. Why this product advertises itself differently than any other in our society is a mystery. They say it is easier to get people to dislike a politician than to like him or her, but I wonder if automobile makers spent all their time accusing each other of making lousy and dangerous cars, whether anybody would buy one at all. Which maybe is one reason more people don't vote.
At any rate, the hint in the air has come along at the right time, because I confess that lately I have not been feeling too good about things. It seems that Florida is being run by people who want to make money, or to help people make money, by returning the state to the 1950s style of y'all-come-and-pave-something. If instead Florida wants to be better, then it needs to protect its resources, grow responsibly, build a world-class state university, invest in itself and eat its vegetables. Which nobody wants to hear. So I am grateful for even a slight break in the weather, and hope still for better things; it is my nature.