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.
Greetings from the professor! You cracked this professor up which is not very easy to do you know. You herniated yourself shoveling snow? This professor hopes you’re better and advises going easier on the snow shoveling no matter what! There is a sense of a Punchyish nature here. Is that correct?
Pretty sure I’m Punchier than Ali after an all-nighter on 5-hour Energy. Good to see you, professor.
Is it a good thing would you say?
It’s better than a stick in the eye.
By turning said throwing hot water into the air activity into a proper noun, you’re only giving it MERIT Tim!
I’ve missed your ranting and raving and carrying on. Great commentary on the polar vortex, which sounds like a Hollywood snowbomination.
Ha! You know what I’m talking about. Do they Throw Hot Water Into The Air in Canada too?
PS Good to ‘see’ you again. You still blogging? I went looking to read some hk/hk a while back and came up with zippo-nada-nil. I thought maybe you had fallen headlong in the Dadong.
Ah the school kids in Minnesota are weenies! Here in Fairbanks they never close for snow (because we use dog sleds to pick the kids up) and as far as the cold…..elementary schools make their own decision after the temperatures reach 30 below. Heck at 20 below we just make sure they are bundled up for outside play time. But then again you have to remember 50 to 60 below in dead winter is not abnormal for us. So I will remember Minnesota when I want to get away to a warmer city when I get older. ((all in jest..yours was a great posting)).
I’m tellin’ ya! I had a cab driver in Fairbanks tell me one time that you all don’t really pay attention until it gets to -60.
PS. Here’s my Fairbanks post from this summer:
Ever do the riverboat Discovery? Cheesier than a Green Bay Packer eating a Brie sandwich.
Being this cold ever again in my life gives me nightmares. I’m happy here in Phoenix, until May at which time we begin experiencing the polar opposite of what you have there.
Good to see that somebody intelligent reads my blog and is willing to live somewhere habitable. A cab driver in Maui told me one time: “You have to work somewhere. Why not here?” Why not indeed.
haha awesome I liked your writing. it made me feel not so bad about the weather in england. although im not sure if I would rather have lots of awesome snow with the down side of being cold enough to evaporate you urine, or to have manchesters lovely rain, wind, and cold (but not as cold as you). I miss the sun. does any one have any nice photos of the sun?
Thanks, TN. And here you go:
Very witty and enjoyable. I look forward to reading more of your posts! Thank you!
Thanks Sue. Looking forward to your reading 🙂
I loved the part about racism! I would love to see a conTIMplating on the issue of “Scared Straight”. Is this now….highly offensive to Gay people that prisoners are being scared straight…do we know that they were gay to begin with?
Good point. All I know is that I was totally scared straight.
And say…didn’t you have a band in the 40s?