Every winter, I notice a strange phenomenon in Bend: People walking around in sub-freezing temperatures attired as if they were strolling to a beach in Kauai.
They'll be wearing shorts. Or a thin T-shirt. Or flip-flops. Or all three.
They're not always hot-blooded kids in their teens and 20s, either. The other morning, with the thermometer nudging 27 degrees, I went to the local Starbucks to get my daily coffee, biscotti and copy of the New York Times. There was a customer inside -- a man of at least middle age -- wearing shorts and Teva sandals. Such sights are not at all uncommon here.
I can come up with only four possible hypotheses:
1. These people are emigrants from California and they still haven't figured out that it gets cold in Bend in the winter.
2. They don't own any long pants, long-sleeved shirts or shoes.
3. No brain, no pain.
4. They simply refuse to admit that it's ever cold in Bend. (Bend residents are the queens and kings of denial.)
I'm leaning toward a combination of #3 and #4.