Ferret It Out

March 14, 2008

The saying is, March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. I’m not sure about that, at least not the lion part. I think March comes in like a ferret, and I’m not just saying that because I hate ferrets. Seriously, I love snakes, but there’s something about the idea of taking a snake and giving it little pink feet and fur that just gives me the creeps. I see ferrets in pet stores and I’m scared to death they’re going to escape and come after me and crawl up my pants. I think I developed this phobia after I read about a Scottish comedian whose shtick was putting ferrets down his pants. I guess since he was Scottish it’s wrong to call it his "shtick". They probably call it his "o’shenarlaghie". Admittedly you have to admire a guy who can stand up on stage and say, "Take m’bonny wee lass–please!" while a couple of giant furry worms are rotting around in his sporran.

But I digress. Why does March come in like a ferret? First there’s the time change which means I now have to get up in the dark and ferrets really like dark places, like Scottish comedians’ pants. It’s so nice after the solstice to wake up to the sun rising earlier and earlier each morning and then, suddenly, everything’s cranked back an hour. It would be almost worth it to move to Guam. Then there’s the weather. A week ago there was a foot of snow on the ground, and now it’s starting to feel like summer. The difference between the morning and the afternoon is the worst, though, because the mornings are really cold and I wear my heavy coat in to work. Then in the afternoons it’s bright and sunny and people are out wearing t-shirts and tank tops and tube tops and halter tops and harness tops and spinning tops and Levi Stubbs of The Four Tops and shorts and thongs and they’re throwing frisbees back and forth and I’m walking to the car in my heavy coat looking like your friendly neighborhood serial killer. Yeah, I could take off my coat and carry it, but it’s March and as soon as I do the temperature’s going to drop fifty degrees. Besides it’s not easy to carry a winter coat. They’re not made to be easy to carry. They’re made to be bulky and heavy and make you look like the friendly neighborhood serial killer. I’ve been trying to figure out some alternative, something that would be light and easy to carry and also keep me warm when I need it. So far the best thing I’ve come up with is a portable force field, like the kind they use in science fiction movies. The problem is, for now anyway, force fields are still science fiction, but as soon as they’re real I’ll be the first to get one. And I can imagine all kinds of applications beyond keeping me warm even without a heavy coat. A portable force field would allow me to push those idiots who get in the elevator first and then stand right in front of the door back into the corner where they’re supposed to go. I could push aside people who get in front of me on the sidewalk and walk as slowly as they can while weaving back and forth. And in any crowded situation I could make people stay away from me. Of course I could probably do that already by just wearing a thong.

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