Blog: El Niño

Burt Ross

Suddenly everybody is talking about El Niño. It’s El Niño this and El Niño that. I don’t even know what El Niño is, but you would think it is the second coming of the Lord. I gather that El Niño has something to do with the warming of the surface water in the equatorial Pacific, which, in turn, will give us what we don’t have — namely, precipitation. Don’t you believe it for one moment. It hasn’t rained since I arrived here late in 2011, and it is never going to rain again. I am going to die of thirst. That’s all there is to it.

This drought is nothing new. The song “It Never Rains in Southern California” was released in 1972, and nobody had ever heard of El Niño back then. This reliance on El Niño reminds me of one of those old movies where somebody is lost in the desert and wanders aimlessly in the hot sun until he sees in the distance what appears to be a shimmering lake only to discover it’s an optical illusion. 

The fact is hope springs eternal. We don’t want to believe our goose is cooked. (In this case we are the goose, and we are literally being cooked.) I recently read in the Reno Gazette-Journal that what will save us is not simply El Niño but El Niño combined with “the blob.” You couldn’t make this up if you wanted to. “The blob,” according to some meteorologist, is a mass of water 1,000 miles long, 1,000 miles wide and 300 feet deep, with temperatures two to seven degrees above normal. When El Niño meets “the blob,” somehow we here in Malibu get wet.

I know why it hasn’t rained in years and why we have a drought, and it has nothing to do with El Niño or “the blob.” It is simply my being punished for telling all my friends back East how great the weather is here in Malibu and how stupid they are not to have joined me. I bragged about how it never rains here, and this drought is my payback — plain and simple. There is only one way to reverse our dryness, and that is for me to apologize for my arrogance and to admit I was wrong — to say that those back East are every bit as intelligent as I am. Of course, being of the male persuasion, I have no intention of saying I erred, and so, we will just have to continue without water.