Winter Blunderland

February 10, 2006

It was going to snow. I knew it was coming because the weather reports were calling for clear skies and unseasonably warm weather. Whenever the weather guy says, "We’re going to get eight feet of snow overnight, so stay home and start chopping up any furniture you can spare for firewood" nothing happens. So the reverse must be true, right? I can even remember specific examples. Decades ago, before there was a Weather Channel, before there were more than four channels even, my parents bought a little thing called a Weather Radio. They’d turn it on and a cheery Madison Avenue voice would give us a weather report for eastern Australia. Weather Radios are still around. I even have one in my office, but now instead of a Madison Avenue voice it impersonates Stephen Hawking.

But I digress. One winter a blizzard hit, a sudden surprise snowfall of big, fat flakes with the wind blowing so hard they were almost going sideways. My parents turned on the Weather Radio and there was the cheery voice: "Temperatures will be well above freezing for most of the day today with clear skies and partial cloudiness overnight. There’s a zero chance of precipitation." That zero chance of precipitation closed school for a week. Then there was the time I was at school and snow started falling in the late morning. The teachers chucked their lesson plans in the garbage and turned on the television, and we said and waited while the weather reports promised that this snow, first just a dusting, then half an inch, then an inch, then two inches, was just going to blow over. When it was blowing over into three inches we were finally sent to the buses, and we spent the next six hours riding home on a crowded school bus, entertaining ourselves solely by trying to set the world record for the biggest spitball and telling stories about the Donner party–which were enhanced by the lack of anything to eat but spitballs and glue. Kids today, of course, would have backpacks full of juice boxes, chips, crackers, and portable video devices. They wouldn’t even have to interact with each other. They could be trapped on a bus for days and they’d never even notice it as long as they could step outside once in a while for a bathroom break, which gives a whole new meaning to those warnings about yellow snow.

But I digress. It was going to snow because the weather reports were all calling for a light dusting. Then, early this morning, they changed and started calling for a blizzard of such monstrous proportions the entire town would be shut down until the spring thaw, a huge wave of snow and ice that would turn this small southern town into White Fang. Skiers were gathering their equipment and preparing to head to Tennessee. And what is it doing outside right this minute? It’s well above freezing with clear skies and partial clouding and a zero percent chance of precipitation.

Enjoy this week’s offerings.

An Irishman, an Englishman, an older woman, and a hot blonde get on the subway. They go into a tunnel and the lights go out, and suddenly they all hear a loud slap. When the lights come on, the Englishman has a big red handprint on his face.

The blonde thinks: "Oh, the Englishman must have made a move for me, but fondled that other woman by mistake and she slapped him".

The old woman thinks: "Hmm, that Englishman tried to put the moves on that blonde and got slapped. Good for her."

The Englishman thinks: "Hey, that Irishman must have gone for the blonde, and she slapped me by mistake!"

The Irishman thinks: "Boy, I hope we go through another tunnel, so I can wallop that English guy again".

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