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Welcome to the Land of the Ice and Snow

 article about Welcome to the Land of the Ice and Snow

It's probably unlikely the owners would even care, with their vehicles gone, they won't have to venture out into the frigid conditions, hell, they'd probably wave at you from the window and wish you hearty bon voyage.


It's not just cold; it's Siberia cold. It's so cold, Hillary Clinton's personality comes off as warm and inviting by comparison. It's so cold that the polar bear at Lincoln Park Zoo looked up at me the other day and said, "okay, this is some bull**it!" It's so cold bank clocks flash "WTF" instead of the actual temperature. It's so cold…okay, you probably get the idea by now, it's a little chilly. Chilly by recent standards, that is. Thanks to a nice dollop of global warming, we Midwesterners have enjoyed fairly mild winters for the past 15 years or so, which has made us soft. Now everyone acts as though you'll freeze to death walking out to get the morning paper. News reporters say things like, "stay indoors if you don't absolutely have to leave your home", how about modifying that to say, "stay indoors, unless you're absolutely too stupid to put on a hat and gloves".


I'll admit I don't particularly like cold weather, but sometimes you have to adapt to your surroundings. Anyone who has ever met me realizes that my ears must have evolved in a warmer climate. You can't have satellite dishes like these hanging off your head catching gale force, sub-zero winds for several generations without biology intervening at some point. If biology was really on my side, ears would shrink up to Shrek-sized sprouts when faced with declining temperatures, other male appendages seem to cooperate, why not ears? As it is, I'm forced to cover my non-retractable ears with these effeminate earmuffs that wrap around the back of my head. Mine are black in color, which I like to think diminishes the metrosexual look, but I'm not sure it's succeeding. It would seem they could make them in various hair colors, kind of like wigs, that way people would just snicker at my bowl haircut, instead of my sissified ear wear. Although, when I wear them, my ears are compressed against my head, so I just look ladylike, not big-eared and ladylike, which I guess is actually a plus.


We've also gotten a lot of snow this year, which causes even more complaints. Amazingly, the people who drone on and on about the cold and snow are also the same people who turn on their air conditioners in May and start complaining about the heat and humidity for next five months. When it snows as much as it has this year, the complaints tend to get more creative. I heard someone on the radio the other day talking about how stupid it is for TV news reporters to stand out in the elements and report that it's snowing. I disagree. I love to see someone out floundering on an expressway overpass in white out conditions. Besides being good entertainment, it's a public service that makes you appreciate that you yourself are indoors. I like to prepare a giant cup of cocoa right before the evening news, just so I can sit back with my feet up and yell, "My God, look at that poor bastard!" I'll even go through all the networks to see which reporter has the worst situation; it gives you a behind the scenes look at who the News Director really hates.


The news people favor sending someone out to stand in front of the city's rock salt supply, as well, which has also drawn harsh criticism from snow-weary whiners. Isn't it comforting to know there's some salt out there to throw on the road? It's like checking the refrigerator for beer before a holiday weekend. The day the salt is exhausted is not the day to send a reporter out there, we need reconnaissance information right here and now. This is actually relevant this year, because many suburbs have run out of rock salt, probably because there was no reporter out there to alarm citizens into a frenzy to get more before they ran out. In a beautiful show of brotherly support, Chicago has declined to share any of its supply with these unprepared suburbs. This is another good reason to show the overflowing sodium cache on TV, Mayor Daley may as well be out there wallowing in the pile and childishly singing, "We got some rock salt, we got some rock salt, and you can't have none, and you can't have none."


The media circus isn't the only silver lining in this flake-laden cloud of winter. One can take solace in the fact that there's less crime in the winter months. I'm not sure at what temperature it's too cold to stab someone, but apparently we've reached it, because no one's been knifed in months. Winter is also a good time to thin the heard, every snowfall holds the potential for that annoying neighbor down the block to have a coronary shoveling the driveway or fall off an icy roof. Canine waste freezes at these temperatures, that fact alone should be reason enough to squelch the complaining dog owners out there. And the biggest positive of this harsh winter is that it's almost over. In a few short weeks those of us living in this prison of ice will be grilling steaks, listening to the ball game and forgetting all those reasons we'd rather live somewhere else. In the meantime, stock up on cocoa, wear your mittens and enjoy the show. And for those of you reading this from a warmer climate, feel free to get a frozen drink, put your feet up and yell, "My God, look at those poor bastards!"



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