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The Overton Window

I was having breakfast at McDonald's. It was only 20 minutes after sunrise, but already, the sun was so bright that it was hard to read the smartphone. I had been doing a halfway decent job of ignoring the horrible sun. 

Suddenly there was the quiet -- but affirmative -- hum of an electrical motor. I was shocked to see solar screens roll down the large expanse of tinted windows that ring the McDonald's.

Down the solar screens came, while my jaw was dropped halfway to the floor. When the motors had accomplished their job, they shut down.

It was like heaven behind those screens. If there is anything in the Southwest that epitomizes kindliness and mercy, it is a solar screen. Suddenly I was a disciple of Dr. Pangloss (aka, Leibniz) and believed we lived in the best of all possible worlds, and that a universal and benevolent Providence bestowed Divine Grace on each creature in the universe.

Perhaps the reader has seen motorized solar screens before. But it was the first time for me. It made a huge impression on me at the time, perhaps because it is the last thing I expected.

Did somebody back at McDonald's headquarters (in suburban Chicago) understand that the climate does vary from one place in the world to the next, and that total corporate uniformity is not necessarily a good thing?

I don't expect any common sense from gringos in the Southwest. Many are newbies, who still use idiotic phrases like, "It is going to be a nice, sunny day today." Their daily schedules and clothing are completely mal-adapted to the Southwest.

And then this! It is funny to see how quickly I can switch from having 'no hope' about the world to an eruption of 'good feelings' and higher expectations, based on the tiniest success!