Tuesday, March 01, 2005

"Don't Bother Wrapping It, I'll Eat It Here"

Listening to: World Party, Private Revolution

There's a story, probably apocryphral, regarding the late, great New Yorker cartoonist Charles Addams. The tale involves a particular gruesome cartoon that Addams would submit on a semi-regular basis: a delivery nurse holding up a newborn to a shady-looking man who says, "Don't bother wrapping it, I'll eat it here." Whenever Addams submitted this particular cartoon to the editors at the New Yorker, it was a sure sign he was due for some time chasing butterflies at Bellevue.

Inmates, roomates, and Origami partners alike can tell you that I'm about to bore you with my annual anti-Februarian rant.

Don't call the guys in the white coats just yet; in my case, shock therapy only adds to already out of sight winter utility bills. With me it's more foolish consistency, my hobgoblin elbowing and bullying the scant few ideas in my head for precious real estate. If this submission suggests anything like a warning, it's for you, dear reader, to flee and save yourself a pummeling by the purple prose of Cairo.

And now - the weather. Why I whine and how I've been down so goddamn long that it looks like up to me.

Enough already, with these scattered flurries of nothing and bone-chilling bleh. I want to barbeque and blind the neighbors with my shirtless pallor. Winter tarries too long, its allure lost well before Valentine's Day.

Winter has three sub-seasons and its final act is interminable. What began as a welcome cooling-off has become the party guest searching the cupboards for vanilla extract. Time to go, ta-ta, don't come back, wish you weren't here.

The first season begins with the quaint thrill of the first snowfall, waking up in the morning to a few inches coating the lawn, grabbing a handful of it and giving it a taste. It's a wistful thrill, thoughts of chestnuts roasting somewhere over the river and through the ticky-tacky subdivision. That thrill usually lasts about 3 days. So starts the second season of winter.

Really, the second stage of winter is not bad at all. You can ski, have some fun with it, and sometimes it looks downright pretty. Sure, you might have to scrape the windows before work (and if you have a bug like mine, scrape the window on the inside on the way to work, the only work my credit card gets), maybe wear a sweater at night but there's noth. During this stage there might be a few sub-freezing days (usually accompanied with enough precipitation to entertain us as amateurs show their stuff on the roads), a fair amount of middling weather, but most memorably, those days that make one thank the Gods that this is Colorado.

Stage Two lasts until late December and then the catatonia kicks in. Welcome to Stage Three: SAD sufferers snuff the pilot lights, depressed skiers/boarders splatter their brains on the trunks of Colorado Blue Spruce, the condition of "Gaaaaaaaaaaawd, will this shit ever end?!?" Canada shits on us with beastly cold (no doubt getting back at us for something Bush said), weather so inhuman that it strands you in your dump for days. Too cold to even wander out to the liquor store and suddenly that crappy bottle of Mateus looks good. Drear and cold so relentless that nothing short of a handful of Valium makes it tolerable. So damn cold, it makes a jug of anti-freeze look palatable.

I confess that Colorado winters, for the most part, rock. I moved here from D.C. and I can tell you that on the right coast, it's winter all damn winter long. No sixty-degree days or melt-off on the Right Coast. They take their winters seriously back east, bygod. So I shouldn't bitch but I do because, well, how else am I going to make it to spring?

Here in Colorado, we'll get a bit more snow, just enough slicken the streets and lead to totaling a goodly number of SUVs. Still, an upended SUV in a ditch is not enough to lighten my mood. Maybe March will bring us 3 or 4 storms with ass-deep snow and maybe I'll hit the Powerball - and then this is then will all be academic because I'll be in Jamaica, mon, hitting a spliff and giggling uncontrollably at all the time wasted on this post.

Until then, I'll continue to look towards the sky, through the tree tops, thinking it all looks cracked and grey. Bring out the leaves, bring out the bees, bring out a cool beer to drink on the porch as the day lingers well past dinner-time. Time to catch some butterflies.


Chip said...

but ya know, without that long, 3 phase winter, you would not appreciate the wonder that is spring and summer. I lived for a year in california and it got boring, all the nice weather. You begin to take it for granted. Here in the great frozen northeast, on the other hand, every day the thermometer is above 40 degrees is a day to savor. And for the 5 weeks of summer we get, we live a full year in those 5 weeks. Ya can't do that in places without real winters...

JenL said...

I'm with ya on the ansty restlessness that is Phase 3.

I hate wishing my days away, and I can see Chip's point, but MAN...my kids need to be outside to run off some of this cabin fever. As for me? I'll enjoy spring until the pollen gets me and then I'll whine about that. Then summer with the humidity and fall with the ragweed and leaves I've got to rake up.

There's just no pleasin' me, ya know.

Chip said...

JenL, the problem is you don't live far enough north, you don't get enough snow! Snow is god's gift to parents in the winter. My kids had a snow day this week. And my son and his friends spent hours playing in the snow, until they were exhausted. No cabin fever for them. Did you ever think of moving up to the snow belt? :)