A Prolonged Dream of Kokomo

It doesn’t snow here often, but when it does, you can rest safely knowing my wife’s grandpa Lowry is on patrol. When the Department of Transportation snow plows get to our community, the plow drivers can just stop awhile and go sledding or participate in a discussion on the merits of marshmallows in hot chocolate while warming themselves around a bonfire. Really, they can do whatever they want for 15 minutes because Lowry, with the use of a box blade and the tractor’s front-in-loader, has already plowed the roads and remains on patrol for further accumulation. The only road he spares is Clay Hill, a steep hill where local children can break their first bone in a safe environment with adult supervision. While huddled in a  shivering mass, many parents pay such close attention to their sledding children that they can be heard encouraging their offspring with shouts likes, “Great ride, Ricky, you got a lot of air!” as Ricky and his plastic trash can lid dangle from the top of a pine tree.

This past weekend, Thomas, my offspring, experienced snow for the first time. He inherited my general hatred for frozen precipitation, as evidenced by the picture above. Not that I want to teach Thomas to hate, but if he was going to hate somebody, I’d be ok with him hating snowmen. 

Bad things happen when it snows here. Take, for instance, the time I woke up to an explosion and a blinding glow in the window. My first thought was Kim Jong-un’s missile program had greatly progressed, though his targeting system needed some work because his warhead landed at the wrong white house. When I peeked through the blinds, I saw the true culprit was a snapped powerline laying across the driveway, spewing flames and sparks. We were without power for seven days–in an old farmhouse with defunct fireplaces and walls that lacked any insulation. Well, mostly without power–by day three, I got a great deal on a price-gouged generator. 

Then there was the time I raised a dozen day-old dairy bulls in an arctic freeze. The dairy farmer couldn’t find anyone else dumb enough to take the calves, and he told me he’d throw in two sickly ones for free. To be honest, I couldn’t tell which ones in particular were the sickly ones, as our barn soon became a triage unit for scouring pneumonic calves. Several scouring viruses, like rotavirus, can also infect humans, so by the end of the week, while trying to keep calves from keeling over in the barn, I  had to frequently race back to the bathroom in the house, all while trying to delicately balance speed and intestinal control. 

Then there was the other time when a pipe burst underneath the house and the other time a joy-riding truck  skidded off the road and demolished part of my newly-built fence and the other time my wife made me watch the movie Frozen and I had that stupid “do-you-want-to-build-a-snowman” song stuck in my head for three eternities. 

At this point, I realize this post has devolved into a continuation of last week’s post where I tried to cancel February. My petition didn’t make much headway with the calendar authorities, and to add insult to injury, our local meteorologists are now calling for freezing rain this weekend. So if you don’t hear from me next week, you’ll know I didn’t survive whatever bad thing blew in with the ice storm, or else I unlocked the secrets of human hibernation and you can expect another blog post whenever ambient outdoor temperatures rouse me from a prolonged dream of Kokomo.

A Petition to Cancel February, Permanently

February, ugh–a month so bad it’s reduced to 28 days. It’s also anchored by the holiday with the worst candy. How many teeth have cracked on those little hearts that say “Be mine”? Beware is more like it. 

The worst thing about February is that it’s cold and bleak and generally unconducive to peeing outside. I know bathroom humor isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but the fact of the matter is that February is the last month you’d want to relieve yourself on the roadside in an emergency situation. And yet the irony is that nature calls more frequently in cold weather, which is another reason to hate February. Apparently, because humans sweat less when cold, the human body has to route more fluids through the bladder. But the bladder has already contracted its capacity to hold liquid because, well, the heater in the truck has quit working and it’s cold and many things contract when cold, including the bladder. Thus, the bladder is now, at best, the size of a large walnut and completely incapable of storing the two gallons of coffee imbibed to stay warm. All these factors, added to the fact that there’s no gas station bathroom within miles to patronize, mean that bladder has now commandeered control of the truck, engaged the emergency flashers, and brought the truck to a screeching halt on the roadside beside a patch of woods. 

Furthermore, we ought to know something is wrong with February when we start the month by relying on groundhogs to forecast our weather. It’s a pretty good indicator that we, as humanity, have given up when we transfer meteorological decision-making to the rodent that lives in the road pipe. My wife’s poppaw, who is eighty-five years old, can remember a better age when groundhogs had yet to inhabit every culvert in the countryside. He said he never used to see groundhogs growing up, and then, all the sudden, they were everywhere, poking their heads up along the roadside. Don’t get me wrong, groundhogs aren’t dumb animals, as anyone who has had to battle one in a garden can attest, but only in February would southerners in the greater Charlotte viewing area get so sick and tired of Larry Sprinkle’s dreary forecasts that we’d put our hope in a rodent from above the Mason-Dixon line. 

Yes, our weatherman’s name is really Larry Sprinkle.

Thus, February is so bad that humanity unites in general dislike of the month, if for no other reason than the “r” in the middle of February is a completely superfluous letter whose sole purpose is to make us feel like idiots and second guess the spelling of a word we learned in first grade. 

Anyway, you can probably tell I don’t like February, and I’m sorry if you were one of the people who lost the calendrical lottery and were born during the month. But, let’s face it, you would benefit most from canceling February because, with it wiped from existence, you’d never grow older. So if you’d like to make the world a better place, please sign the petition by leaving your name (or favorite fake name, I’m not picky) in the comments and then distribute this petition far and wide, so we can rid the calendar from the scourge of February. Even if we can’t get February omitted entirely, maybe we can negotiate and at least get the “r” omitted from the middle, which would be a big win for the universe if you ask me.