Not it isn’t. It’s always hotter and worse somewhere else, and in the case of Kansas it’s a good thing. It’s 105 in the shade out on the Kansas plains which means they can make square bales of hay all in one day and the workers hardly break a sweat.
At dawn, the farmer gets up into the air conditioned cab of his John Deere tractor and starts to mow his hay field. By noon, the blazing sun has dried and cured the grass into hay. The farmer takes a lunch break while his son rakes the hay into windrows with their MF 235.
By 3:00 PM the rising heat waves peak their power. The Massey 12, an old square baler, starts its clunk-a-clunk, clunk-a-clunk. It’s Saturday. In the cab the farmer listens to the opera “Figaro” on Public Radio as he puts the machines into gear to start the baling. The son, has a big fan on the back of his Toyota Tundra. It’s like a propeller from an air boat in the Everglades. As the bales come out of the baler, they never hit the ground. With the heat waves for lift and the fan for direction, they float to the barn where the two grandchildren direct them into the loft. It was a nice day – 1000 bales into the barn, mom fed them ice cold watermelon to cool off and dad put the steaks on the grill.
Meanwhile, farther west in Idaho, the temperature is still over 100, but it is humid. Rain comes everyday as the black thunderheads build on the crest of the Rockies. Breathing, if you can, makes you sweat. In the small town of Numa, Idaho, window air conditioners produced so much water that the mayor announced a Flood Watch for the town.
However, out in the Idaho potato fields, the farmers had major problems. The blasting heat and the daily rain boiled the potatoes in the ground. It was a blessing for the farm workers. They didn’t have to carry lunches. One man brought butter in an ice chest, another a salt shaker, and the third some cheese. Unfortunately, the workers could not eat 20,000 tons of boiled potatoes. Even if they could find a way to ship them, who would buy Boiled Idaho Potatoes for baking?
One farmer said, “It’s hot and dry in Kansas, I’ll ship mine there to dry out.” He did and they did, but no one would buy things that looked like dark brown golf balls. Finally his wife said, “C’mon guys, let’s be creative. We’re going to mash all those potatoes and become the “Mashed Potato Capital of the World”. We’ll have a great “Mashed Potato Festival” with prizes for the biggest potato sculptures. We’ll sell mashed potato soap and facial cream, have a potato chili stir-off. The festival Queen candidates will wear designer burlap potato sack gowns.
They had to move quickly before all the potatoes boiled away, so they created a mashed potato incident sob story to go viral on the internet. It did. Thousands of people came that weekend, but so did more rain. It rained so long and hard that all the potatoes boiled up out of the ground and took the whole state of Idaho south where it became Colorado.