Snow Just A Four Letter Word
This article belongs to Necessary Roughness column.
Does anyone disagree that the most interesting part of Valentine's Day is that it marks the anniversary of a massacre involving Al Capone?
Of course, some of you will disagree; it was a rhetorical question. But those of you who disagree are probably going to be eating at Applebee's with your sweethearts on February 14. Prior to dinner, you may have bought or received anything from chocolates to jewelry. In return, you will (hopefully) be giving, or more accurately, getting the four letter word which starts with an "L" that defines this special day - laid.
Good luck to all.
As for this neo-Gonzo journalist, I am currently enjoying my sixth snow day of the 2006/2007 school year. The boredom of Valentine's Day has been swept away by the ecstasy of sleeping in and relaxing.
Now, the true beauty of a snow day lies not in the celebration of it, but in the anticipation. Let me explain . . . .
One of the few absolute thrills involved in being an educator is the constant obsession with meteorology during January and February. Within every weather forecast lays an opportunity for good news. And every time the token charismatic weatherman mentions snow or ice, we in the slums of academia go to bed with as much excitement as a (extremely spoiled, bratty) kid at Christmas.
Here's the thing: unlike Christmas, the snow day has not only managed to keep its excitement level at the same capacity from childhood to adulthood, but it has actually increased. This, specifically, is where the thrill lives and breathes. Snow days, as a child, are fun because you have a day with no math homework. They are exciting, but not thrilling.
Presents on Christmas are a thrill. Watching a live game of professional sports is a thrill. Putt-putt on your birthday is even a thrill. But sadly, as we age, the holidays become a routine and sports grow into an addiction. And even though putt-putt remains slightly cool, our birthdays gradually evolve from being a celebration with pizza and presents to a reality check that includes an inspection of a possibly receding hairline.
Most of the finest moments from youth lose their value. It's inevitable. But like Keith Richards, the power of snow days simply cannot die. And that makes me happy as hell on this particular Valentine's Day.
Getting that 5:00 a.m. call in winter is what keeps teachers from jumping off of bridges (at a higher rate). I get that call and become ecstatic because I know I'm about to be told I can pretty much do whatever the hell I want for the next 18 hours. Prior to my second career as a neo-Gonzo-journalist, a snow day provided me the opportunity to watch three hours of music videos on VH1, and then sleep till two in the afternoon. I then throw a pizza in the oven, watch three episodes of Saturday Night Live re-runs, hit the treadmill while talking on the cell-phone, put in a DVD, take a nap, crank up the stereo, mess around on the computer, take a shower, and then go to bed. Meanwhile, I'm getting paid as if I were explaining grammar to sophomores for eight hours. Beautiful.
However, these snow days have meant much more than making me realize that the Saturday Night Live cast of 1993-94 was the comedy equivalent of the 1992 USA Hoops "Dream Team." They have made me realize that I need to become filthy rich so I can retire and do this shit every day. Now that would be beautiful.
Anyway, throughout six years of these highly anticipated snow days, I have managed to somehow fit some time into my usually busy routine of eating frozen pizza and watching VH1 Classic to figure out a new top five list.
Now, this list, or any list of mine for that matter, does not necessarily have much emphasis on the actual ranking. Like a grocery list, each song, or "item," is a vital piece of the list; each "item" is equally important. Example: if you forget to buy Plug-ins during your trip to the local Piggly-Wiggly, then unfortunately, your apartment will remain smelling like moth balls, regardless of the fact that you remembered to buy toothpaste, toilet paper, and ranch dressing. By that same rationale, if Joey from the nineties sitcom Blossom was left off my "Television Characters I'd Most Like to See Beat-Up in an Episode" list, then that would ultimately affect the integrity of my list. That, in a way, would be borderline-tragic, because Jonathan from Who's the Boss? needs someone to be compared to. So without further explanation, I give you the top five list of "Songs From 1980 to 1990 that are Great to Slow-Dance With Your Sweetheart to in a High School Gym that Reaks of Sweat." Enjoy.
#5: "I'll Be There For You" by Bon Jovi
From the album
Although I'm pretty sure that these scenarios are not scientifically possible, they are, however, somehow romantic. For that reason alone, I allow the song to crack my top five list.
#4: "Angel" by Aerosmith
The song's length is its only flaw; it's much too long. If you're dancing with a 10, then the song is a 9. However, if you're with a 6 looking for a new recruit for the next song, then the song is a dragging 8. But Steven Tyler's classic ballad kicks ass if you're lip-syncing it to your Jennifer Love Hewitt screen saver, half-drunk in a pair of boxers and a sock hat. Well, so I've heard.
#3: "Heaven" by Bryan Adams
Great song. It's about a long-lasting relationship that, like any, has had its struggles, but nothing that true love can't overcome. The couple goes from being "only you and me," "young and wild and free" to being in "Heaven". Hence the title.
#2: "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" (yeah, it does) by Poison
The great thing about this song is that every rose DOES have that fucking thorn. Usually, the greater the rose, the sharper the thorn. The toughest part about the damn thorns is that you usually find them after you have already BOUGHT the rose. As for the song, Brett Michaels will always have this classic song to justify a decade of hairspray and lipstick. Seriously, every night has its dawn, and every cowboy sings a sad, sad song.
And finally, the number one song…
#1: "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton
Yeah, I know, this is a 70's song. But if it were up to me, couples would be dancing to this song until the year 2040; it's that good. I'm not sure if it's Slowhand's voice, lyrics, or guitar riffs, but with the right partner (are you reading this Jennifer Love?), I could probably slow dance to this song for like 3 hours.
Now, if you're not into the high school dance nostalgia, I still hope these songs can somehow bring some joy into your Valentine's Day routine. But remember: every time a new school gets built, a sweaty high school gym that has hosted decades of awkward teenage dances gets destroyed. So on this February 14th of 2007, find your significant other, and crank up those love ballads.
As for me, I have chosen a different song: Bing Crosby's "Let It Snow."