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Global Warming & Yellow Snow

Dave Magee 2013

Global Warming & Yellow Snow by Dave Magee 2013

Air travel may seem glamorous at times, but it really isnt anything special. Occasionally, the airline awards it frequent flyers with a complimentary upgrade, and I had the luck of the draw on the way to Beijing, China. Never take these upgrades for granted regardless of your frequent flyer status. The seat is far more comfortable, which is the biggest advantage on long flights. The food is slightly better, and true, you can drink as much alcohol as you want, but what is the point of that when you are flying at thirty-five thousand feet in a metal canister, rocketing through the atmosphere at five hundred miles per hour with a bunch of strangers? It doesnt happen very often that an airline surprises you twice on one trip. This next surprise was more a result of Boeing's engineering and it turns out that on this trip the most interesting thing about flying first class was the bathroom. Ok, hold on. Dont go off on a tangent thinking weird thoughts. I dont have a fetish for public restrooms let alone any rest room. However, in all the flying that I have done, which by my latest estimate is approximately three million miles in my lifetime, I have never walked into the cramped little spaces of a bathroom on an airplane only to discover. . . (wait for it) . . . a window! Would you believe it? A window! Yes, a window in the bathroom of a Boeing 777 jet airline! This was an astonishingly new thing, at least for this seasoned traveler. I closed and locked the door indicating to the rest of the cabin-mates that I was in the bathroom and no one should disturb me, and to be sure of this, Boeing equipped the plane with a red light symbol indicating that in fact I was in the bathroom of their 777 jet. Thank you Boeing for thinking of my privacy in this manner when all I was really trying to do was to indiscreetly use the restroom without notifying two hundred forty strangers. The bathroom was illuminated brightly by the reflection of the sun on the white clouds which were streaming by. I pondered the reality of the window, and I oddly responded by looking to see if there was a curtain or shade to close. And there it was! All those years of conditioning by my mother manifesting itself into a single habituated and immediate reaction; the desire to have privacy in the bathroom. However, being the highly-intelligent individual that I am, I concluded on this day, it was time to get radical, because I had further concluded that no one was outside the 777 jet, flying at thirty-five thousand miles above sea level at five hundred miles per hour. I may lose some women here on these next few sentences, but if you stay with me, you might find it humorous. If anything, one begins to appreciate the biological benefits of being able to stand while peeing. Quite simply put, this is the point in time where women would normally do their thing sitting down, or practice the art of hovering, a conditioned response taught to them by their mothers on how to pee in public places. Performing the hovering maneuver represents a feat of strength in the quadriceps muscles, but a greater test of this feat of strength is maintaining the hovering position for more than five seconds all the while not touching the seat while peeing at the same time during heavy turbulence. Ok, I have gone off on a somewhat unrelated tangent here, but the point is, sitting down and taking care of your personal business prevents you from viewing the stratosphere through this incredible window in the first class bathroom on a Boeing 777 at thirty-five thousand feet. Oddly enough, the pilot and the flight crew believe your seat belt should be fastened and remind you of this while you are in the bathroom. There is an illuminated light inside the bathroom implying that you take your seat and fasten the seat belt. Maybe it is Boeings way of letting you know that while the other two hundred forty strangers know you are in the bathroom, they in turn are wearing their seat belts and youre not. Boeing truly tho ught of everything including the non-smoking signs, in spite of the fact that smoking on a plane has been illegal since the 1970s. There I was admiring the clouds streaming by at an accelerate rate while gazing out the window and the only

Global Warming & Yellow Snow by Dave Magee 2013 thought that came to mind was, would the clouds turn yellow if I were actually peeing on them? After all, clouds are water vapor molecules and I wondered at that speed, altitude and freezing temperature that it might just vaporize immediately, and then what? Where would it go? Into the cloud, right? There I was flying from Newark to Beijing approaching the furthest most point of the Northern Hemisphere and Im wondering if huskies are the only thing that can produce yellow snow. I must have had to pee a lot, because my mind kept going with this thought. What about those goofy scientists Al Gore is always quoting? What if they were studying their snow flake samples trying to determine the impact of global warming and its affects? What if one of them was going to work in Norway on a Monday morning and it began to snow, and like most scientist, they revel in the opportunity to collect samples. Out of the sky floats a distinctly yellow flake, then another, and so on. The scientist quickly stops trying to catch snowflakes on his tongue and realizes that there is a whole series of related yellow flakes trickling out of the sky. The phenomena would be quite exciting to the scientist, who at that point wouldnt even have thought of the probability let alone possibility of frozen pee, because why would he? Yellow snow is made by huskies. Everyone knows that and certainly huskies dont live in the clouds (or at least I didnt see any from thirty-five thousand feet). So, Sven, the Norwegian scientist takes his samples to his below freezing lab to preserve this incredible discovery of yellow snow that had fallen from the sky. Immediately he draws a crowd from his fellow scientists and one of them takes the liberty to call Al Gore to put him on alert that his affectionately called staff of really smart scientists are about to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that global warming is in fact, . . . real (and it is, but this is more fun). The meticulous job of isolating the yellow flakes is completed and one flake in particular becomes a sacrificial snowflake and is melted to analyze its chemical content; 80 proof! That was the missing clue. Alcohol has worked its way into the ecosystem and is now part of the cycle of precipitation. The advanced scientist conclude that soon (although they do nt exactly know how long, but soon nonetheless), all plants and animals will be rained upon and every living creature will be inebriated throughout its life cycle. This will be catastrophic and Al Gore must write another book in the hopes, . . . no make that expectations that he will win a second Noble Prize. To celebrate his ongoing fame and good fortune, Al Gore pores himself a glass of Jack Daniels, and pounds it down in spite of the hypocritical fact that the Tennessee county he is drinking in prohibits consumption of alcohol, but hosts the famous Jack Daniels distillery. Fast forward beyond my imaginary world and my imaginary scientist were about to be tricked yet again, for when I flushed the toilet, blue water swirled around the commode. Now th ere was a litany of yellow, blue and through the combination of both liquids, green crystals vaporized into the atmosphere resting firmly in a cloud, waiting for El Nino or El Nena to excite their molecules and create a cataclysmic whether system that no one has ever seen before all because I had one too many gin and tonics on a Boeing 777. I think the Noble Prize within my grasp.

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