Valley Fever

You may have heard that anyone who has lived in the Tucson Area more than five years probably has Valley Fever, a mysterious disease which may or not may have any symptoms and which is believed to be contacted by disturbing the earth.

A likely story! Everyone knows Valley Fever is what comes from not having the good sense to clear out of town at the end of May like everyone else. Here's how you can tell if you have the disease:

  • You think all plants have thorns, needles or spikes.
  • You're disappointed when last night's storm took out the power, three trailer houses and a billboard, and all you got was some heavy rain.
  • You only plug in your computer, stereo and phone when you're going to use them.
  • You have at least one disabled vehicle or weird metal sculpture in your front yard.
  • The good humor man's theme song is, "Do your boys hang low?"
  • You sleep like a baby next to a noisy wall AC unit, no problem.
  • When a police helicopter buzzes your house, you don't get up to see what's going on.
  • Your tap water has a head on it.
  • You buy most of your clothes at thrift stores.
  • Some of your neighbors live in cars.
  • You can't cook without jalapenos and lime juice.
  • Your washing machine is outside, on the back porch.
  • You keep oven mitts on the front seat so you can hold the steering wheel.
  • You think several tons of cinders, arranged by color, make a "nice lawn."
  • When you order in restaurants, you wait for the waitress to ask, "Do you want red or green sauce?" That includes breakfast.
  • You have actually eaten chorizo.
  • You've learned that if you set your old junk out by the road, it'll all be gone the next day.
  • Your dog has learned to howl like a coyote.
  • You consider javelinas garden pests.
  • You've had a meaningful relationship with a roadrunner.
  • Your dog is smaller than the local jackrabbits.
  • You say "But it's a dry heat."
  • You no longer associate bridges (or rivers) with water.
  • You know a swamp cooler is not a Happy Hour drink.
  • Vehicles with open windows have the right-of-way in the summer.
  • You can say 115 degrees without fainting.
  • You finally understand that line in "Horse With No Name" about "a fly with no buzz."
  • People with black cars or black upholstery are either snowbirds or nuts.
  • You can finish a Big Gulp in 10 minutes and go back for seconds.
  • You can (correctly) pronounce the words: "Saguaro," "Tempe," "Gila," "San Xavier," "Canyon de Chelly," "Mogollon Rim," "Cholla," and "Rillito".
  • You put on sunscreen to go to the Circle K.
  • Some fool can market mini-misters for joggers and some other fools will actually buy them.
  • Hot air balloons can't go up, because the air outside is hotter than the air inside.
  • You go to a hot springs to "cool off."
  • When waiting for the bus, you stand in the shade of the telephone pole.