Laurie Notaro is an author, crafter, and expert at finding a good cocktail. She grew up in Phoenix, but is currently based in Eugene, Oregon. Each week, she'll be joining us to share a crafting adventure, draw a flowchart, or remember a few of her favorite things about Phoenix. Today, she takes a look at the recent Phoenix weather madness, and why, in her words, Haboobs are awesome.
5. In less than 30 seconds, a respectable Haboob can fill the artificial cleavage of every Scottsdale housewife racing from Lucy to the safety of her Land Rover in the parking lot at Kierland. Bejeweled flip flops aren't natural disaster-friendly footwear, and some may actually topple over due to their tank tops becoming filled like the sands in an hour glass. It may take days to months to find survivors, or sadly, (kinda not, I'm just being nice) only squishy silicone pillows behind the Cheesecake Factory in huddled piles surrounded by plastic diamonds and patches of glitter.
4. Free dermabrasion, or, for the very brave with scuba tanks, complete unwanted body hair removal. A billowing wall of sand can not only dull the shine off of a brand new penny, but it can work away acne scars and skin divots like a Magic Eraser on a bathtub in a motel that rents by the hour.
For those with contained breathing apparatus kept handy in case of arson, strap it on, head outside and let the smoothing begin. Sand can find its way into previously unknown crevices, so make sure you complete the process with a thorough cleansing and dusting of all hard-to-reach areas, because clearly, someone else will be seeing them very soon.
3. They provide the opportunity for every real Phoenician who has lived here since Wallace and Ladmo to openly mock and berate the newly arrived who repeatedly enjoy saving the word "Haboob" when the rest of us know the true term is simply "dust storm." It's a DUST STORM. It's a fancy word for DUST STORM, and the only difference between the two is now we have more helicopters taking pictures of it from above. That's it. That's the only difference.
It was funny when news anchor Liz Habib was still on the air to wait until she said, "This is Liz Habib on the Haboob," but then she got caught shoplifting, punched someone in a bar fight and got fired, and thus, the Haboob magic died for most of us that day and has not returned. If you don't know what Legend City means and you've said the word "Haboob" in all seriousness on at least one occasion, yes, you're an idiot.
2. They give most of us another opportunity to clean house on our Facebook pages when we see how lame people actually are when coming up with kicky Haboob-related status updates. "Holy Haboob," "Haboobs suck," "Haboob Smothers Phoenix!" are all examples of bad Haboob repartee, and should be seen as a chance to tailor your Facebook friends to trim the dead weight (much like when people post about President Obama's birth certificate or any mention of the word "death panel" regarding the health care debate). Delete. Delete. Delete. You don't want any of these people to know where you live when apocalypse hits, anyway, so be proactive and hot potato them now.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
1. Much like flash floods, Haboobs are a much needed device for nature to mildly suggest to some transplants -- specifically those from New Jersey, certain sections of New York, Florida, the Midwest in all of it's entirety, and Indiana -- that they don't belong here. Especially if they voted for Jan Brewer. It's a gentle nod to go back home and collect their disability in their rightful state, and if they don't get the hint, the snakes, scorpions, and 124 degrees come next ... and black mold since you bought the cheapest Styrofoam house you could find in the farthest corners of the Valley and then we had to build new freeways for you.
It's the thinning of the herd. It's nature. It's good and it's right, and that's especially true when they turn their high beams on and veer off the road and into the desert, followed by a trail of license plates from Iowa.
Stay tuned for new adventures with Laurie Notaro, and catch up on a few classics in any of her books including The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club: True Tales from a Magnificent and Clumsy Life,It Looked Different on the Model, I Love Everybody (and Other Atrocious Lies), There's a Slight Chance I Might Be Going to Hell, and An Idiot Girl's Christmas at Changing Hands, on Amazon, or through her website.