Flying into Phoenix between May and September, you can get a brief idea of what the neutron bomb would have done; leave the buildings - get rid of the people.
Only when you land do you see there actually are lots of people. They're just all inside in air conditioned comfort. They're all inside because it's hot. Really hot. Super hot.
When you check into the Hilton in Scottsdale, they give you a complimentary bottle of water. They do this for two reasons. 1. It's a sort of reward for not dying during the 12 mile journey from the airport in the middle of the afternoon. 2. They give you the water so you won't die before you check in and cause them the aggravation of carting your dead carcass away before you've spent any money.
During the winter months, the 2 bedroom hotel room we stayed in usually costs 1000 dollars a night. Yet, between May and September, it's 50 cents.
Don't get me wrong, I love Scottsdale. It's beautiful in a deserty sort of way. But when it's hot, it'll whomp your butt.
On Saturday we attended my Nephew's wedding. It was my second outdoor wedding in the Phoenix area. Two thoughts raced through my mind as the beautiful couple exchanged their vows. The first was this: "Boy, what a great couple. They sure love each other." My second thought was: "My face is melting."
When the couple kissed as newly married man and wife, I cried. I cried because it was a beautiful moment. I also cried because my nose had fallen off my face and was now next to my shoe.
Desert heat is a heat all its own. Call it dry. Call it whatever you like. It's hot.
A few hours before the wedding my wife said she couldn't find the aspirin she had brought. Being a loving husband, I went to go get her some. There was a shopping center across the street from the hotel so I decided to walk. Now, I've walked before. You put one foot in front of the other and move. I know how.
The shopping center was less than 1000 feet away. If that. But about 200 feet into my walk I noticed I was the only human being walking. As I crossed the street I noticed people in their cars staring at me and pointing. I heard a little girl say, "Mommy, is that man going to die?"
Now streets in Scottsdale are incredibly wide. I don't know why. But they are. Driving at 60mph it takes at least 3 days to cross a typical street. So walking is a bit of a challenge.
Half way through the intersection I wondered why the hell my wife needed aspirin anyway. My legs were mushy. I was thirsty. I was mushy and thirsty and started batting at imaginary spiders. These are the classic symptoms of 'Desert Head'. I wanted to turn around. But I was more than halfway through the intersection and wouldn't make it back before the light changed.
My flip flops aren't rated for this sort of extreme heat and began melting into the road. People watched from their cars as I sweated and mushed by them. Extreme heat tends to make everyone look like Christopher Walken.
I finally made it across the street. The drug store was only about a hundred feet more. I looked at it, but could go no further. I decided to go back to the hotel.
I crossed the street again. The little girl and her mother had come back the other way in their car, presumably to see if I had died.
When I crawled into the lobby of the hotel an hour later, I told them I was checking in. They gave me a water.
When I finally made it back to my room, my wife said she had found the aspirin.