I think I speak for everyone when I say that few topics are funnier than a solar eclipse, because few things are funnier than praying your small children and pets won’t burn a hole in their retinas staring directly at the sun. And as if that isn’t funny enough, we here in Oregon aren’t just worried about any old pedestrian solar eclipse. We are bracing for a TOTAL eclipse. So, not only do we have to worry that our children and pets will burn out their retinas, we have to worry that they will TOTALLY burn out their retinas!
On August 21st, the moon will pass in front of the sun and turn day into night. The path of this “Total Eclipse” is a 70 mile wide swath which will stretch from South Carolina across the US and through Oregon. The excitement here in Oregon is electric. Official local tv news reporters (identifiable by their Official windbreakers) are already announcing that the Total Eclipse will be Incredible! Almost impossible to describe. Well, unless you can picture every time you’ve walked outside at night. Then you CAN actually picture it. (In fact, isn’t this just a “mini nighttime?”) Should we really be getting excited about it? YES! Yes, we should! Because the media has told us to. The excitement is palpable! (We are told.) And this is absolutely true! It is true among high school science teachers, amateur astronomers and the owners of flea bag motels. According to the news media, every hotel room and camping site has been booked for the last one million years. So if you want to experience the delight of being in the dark for about two minutes (during the daytime!!!), bring a sleeping bag. You’ll be camping out in a culvert.
And remember, the best part of viewing a solar eclipse is getting to wear those special protective glasses. Not just because they keep you from burning your eyes out, but because they make you look so snazzy. I’ve already been wearing my pair around town. (The envious looks I get from strangers is priceless.)
So grab your sleeping bag, head to Oregon on August 21st, and prepare to be astounded! You will get to wear Special Glasses! It will be Dark! During the Daytime!!!