While I was out

Went out for a couple of hours last night, and when I got home, I discovered to my complete astonishment that my cable tv and cable modem problems had miraculously vanished, and I was once again an active participant in the information grid. I suppose it is possible that Time Warner actually did something right for a change, but Occam’s Razor probably applies here — divine intervention is a far more likely possibility.

One of the things I missed during the incredible hardship of my weekend on dialup was this extraordinary Washington Post editorial which has great fun with those whining Europeans and their so-called “heat wave”:

TO LISTEN TO THE FUSS Europeans are making about their weather, anyone would think that it was actually hot over there. In Paris, shops have experienced a run on electric fans. In Sweden, a male bus driver showed up for work in a skirt after his company informed him that he was not allowed to wear shorts. In Amsterdam, zookeepers are giving iced fruit to their chimpanzees to cool them off.

Okay, so maybe it’s a bit warmer than usual. Temperatures across the continent have shot up into the 90s and once or twice have topped 100 degrees in London and Paris. But is this really hot — hot enough to close businesses, hot enough to cancel trains (the tracks might buckle), hot enough to wax nostalgic for the summer rain to which some Europeans, notably residents of the British Isles, are more accustomed?

You’ve particularly got to enjoy the last line of this editorial — which was published the morning before a massive swath of North America lost power:

Not all Europeans may want to go this far — but maybe they will now at least stop turning up their noses at those American summer inventions they’ve long loved to mock: The office window that doesn’t open, the air conditioner that produces sub-arctic temperatures and the tall glass of water, served in a restaurant, filled to the brim.

Yeah, those sub-arctic temperatures and windows that don’t open, baby. We know how to do it right — hey, where’d the lights go?

And about those whining Europeans for whom the Post has such mirthful contempt — well, there’s this:

PARIS – Gravediggers were called back to work on a national holiday Friday to deal with the grim aftermath of a heat wave that left up to 3,000 dead in France.

With morgues full, authorities took over the vast storeroom of a Paris farmers market or kept bodies in refrigerated tents — as temperatures subsided throughout Europe, ending one of the most severe periods of intense heat on record across the continent.

Morgues and cemeteries have been overwhelmed in the heat wave, which the health minister called “a true epidemic.” A Paris regional funeral official said families would likely have to wait 10-15 days to have relatives buried.

Ha, ha! Foolish French people, and their silly complaints!

(Links via Uggabugga.)