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‘A Real Weenie-Shrinker’

December 8th, 2015 · No Comments · Abu Dhabi, The National, UAE


One of the many memorable moments in Steve Martin‘s 1991 film L.A. Story involves his portrayal of local TV weatherman  Harris K. Telemacher speaking with another Angeleno about a shocking drop in temperature … all the way down to 58 degrees!

They talk about “closing the windows” and “letting the cats inside”.

Martin’s character sums up by saying: “Well, that’s how L.A. coped with that surprise low of 58 degrees that turned the weekend into a real weenie-shrinker!”

We had the Abu Dhabi version of that tonight … when the temperatures might have dropped beneath 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21C), for a few hours.

With wind!

The event was at The Club, a veddy British outpost near the old port where the former subjects of the empire (upon which the sun never set) gather for social and sporting events.

A space was reserved at the southern end of the sprawling property, which ought to be a perfect place for a “festive-season party” as well as “leaving-do” … but Abu Dhabi was slammed with this shocking chill.

Maybe less than 70, when the wind game up.

I layered with a T-shirt and sweater and wore a scarf around my neck for the duration of the event. It was that cold!

Which, of course, is a ridiculous concept, but we here in Abu Dhabi have no real idea what natural cold feels like and, unless we happen to have on the leather coat we wear once a year, we do catch a bit of chill.

Can’t say we weren’t warned. The National in the morning editions advised that parents “bundle up” their kids, because it was unlikely to rise above 80 degrees all day.

That was followed by an editorial noting the “bite of the cold” as a “spell of wintry weather” swept across the country.

At the social event, out there on the edge of the water, everyone had to make at least one comment about the cool and the wind. Old UAE hands tried to remember that last time it was so cold here.

“Not last year … but I think a few days the year before?”

“Yes, I think you’re right. I wore the bomber jacket to the mall.”

It is very silly, of course, because it isn’t really cold here, not by the standards of most of the planet. But it certainly is out of the ordinary.

When you have air and water and clouds, you have weather, as Harris K. Telemacher would remind us. Sometimes, you might even have to close the windows and let the cats in.





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