As I was herniating myself the other day while out shoveling my driveway for the 87th time this winter after a surprise un-forecasted overnight snow of seven inches, I stopped to try and remember what my lawn looked like and got to conTIMplating exactly why I live in Minnesota, being that it is so nonsensically cold here that Satan has his own line of credit at the local Burlington Coat Factory.
Why would anybody voluntarily reside where you have to watch heart-warming movies to keep your body temperature at a survivable level and the phrase ‘beating the heat’ has no meaning other than an NBA win over Miami?
Then there is the whole ‘Neighbor Challenge’ thing. Notice our Christmas card from 2010:
This is what your Minnesota neighbors look like seven months out of the year. The Neighbor Challenge is figuring out which neighbor you are talking to before the end of the conversation. Regrettably, I often fail the Neighbor Challenge.
And this is not your only ridiculous Minnisota winter activity. One thing people do here is ‘Ice Fishing;’ that is, not fishing for ice but rather fishing for fish through ice. From what I can tell, this is an activity not unlike building a frontier outhouse in that you dig a hole, build a small shack over it, and eventually fill it with slimy, malodorous trophies. A secondary purpose seems to be to stick it to The Man by turning his million-dollar lakefront view into one that overlooks a make-shift homeless shanty town.
Another favorite bizarre Minnesota winter activity is that of ‘Throwing Hot Water Into The Air.’ Seriously. This is an activity that is inevitably done every year with great drama on local news channels to fill their one-hour time slot. To be fair, there is nothing else to report during a Minnesota winter once the recounts are over because nobody ever leaves their homes other than the local news reporters reporting on why nobody is leaving their homes. And of course, reducing a one-hour local news time slot is out of the question because that wouldn’t leave enough time for all the superlatives.
What this activity involves is taking a hot cup of water either obtained by warming it in the microwave for a minute or turning on the tap and waiting until June for your pipes to warm up sufficiently such that hot water makes it all the way to the kitchen. You then take this hot water outside and throw it up into the air and watch it instantly vaporize, secretly wishing it was Obamacare. Then you ooh and ahh and hurry inside to make cocoa and turn on a heart-warming movie.
You probably noticed that this activity went national recently when hard-hitting news reporter Anderson Cooper did it, then made the natural investigative leap to wondering if one’s urine did the same thing. This is CNN.
Other popular local winter activities include getting behind the wheel and saying, “Watch this,” something called ‘Broomball,’ and going outside in the middle of the night to watch the Sara Borealis.
Another one is making fun of friends who live in warmer climes where the entire city shuts down because of this type of highly dangerous winter accumulation:
My conclusion upon seeing these photos is that the cities in which they were taken are weaker than Bristol Palin’s first chin. Call me a rabid northerner zealot, but to close schools you should have at least as much white as a Republican National Convention and it should be at least as deep as social media. Seriously? I’ve seen more flakes than that on my loofah.
But then last week I had to masticate some serious corvus caurinus as our own esteemed Governor Dayton closed schools across the state three days ahead of time (on the Friday before the following Monday) because it was forecasted to be stupid cold (i.e., minus twenty-something) and he was afraid that all the little school children’s digits would turn black from frostbite at the bus stop, which if you ask me, is completely racist. Nobody has ever closed schools from fear of turning white, have they?
Regardless, in a normal world that should not happen. Close the state’s entire school system? Because it’s too cold? Three days ahead of time? On the upside, three days is the longest our own esteemed Governor Dayton has stuck to any one side of an issue.
But then there are other things that happen in Minnesota that should not…
Fishing tournaments should not be able to simultaneously use the lake that is being fished as the spectator parking lot:
Front doors should not have the same hairstyle as James Dean in Rebel Without A Cause, as mine does right now:
Weather forecasts should not include the term ‘Character-building:’
And my commute should not feel like I am rafting through Snake River Canyon:
Alas, what my Frozone conTIMplation has gotten me is nothing more than the conclusion that I am stuck here shoveling snow at least until Thing 2 graduates high-school. Or until I find a buyer for a four-bedroom, two-bath split-level with a pompadour.