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Opinion

‘Real’ winter qualities remain in high demand

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December 11, 2008

It seems there’s this yearly occurrence called “winter.” I only recently became aware of this phenomenon when nearly shattering my ankle trying cross Cascade while a fury of angry drivers attempted to run me and three others-two of whom did not survive-down. My ankle is okay, but my morale was all but incinerated despite the freezing outside temperatures. So there I was: watching as fat snowflakes drifted past my eyes and body a few nights ago, listening to the silence that winter nights are often accompanied by, and it occurred to me: when was the last time we had both snow on the ground this early in the season AND had it amount to a real-ass winter?

A real-ass winter…now that’s something to ponder. I’m from Minnesota and take pride in the fact that I can withstand subzero temperatures for up to four hours at a time while tanning under the frozen sun during J-Term, but these past few years have been somewhat pathetic. A real winter means cold and snow. I’ve taken it upon myself to call her out-and I don’t care if you can’t visualize it-but it takes two to tango, Momma Nature.

Hey Momma – howya doin’? I’m doing alright, so consider yourself lucky. Humans spend a lot of their time buying stuff like digital cameras, movies, televisions and the whole likes of consumerist materials-and it all comes with some kind of a review, so I’m taking it upon myself to critique the past few winters along with this one. Momma, I hope you don’t have hard feelings. Actually, I take that back, you’ve been around far longer and will most definitely outlive me (despite global conditions, mind you), so I don’t care if you shed a tear. Wait, I take THAT back-a tear on your behalf would be a tsunami or another Katrina, so maybe just nod at my comments, both positive and negative. Then we can have a heart-to-heart afterwards and you can tell me personally what you meant when you screwed me over all those years in middle school by neglecting to give me snow-days. That cool? All right then.

So, first I’ll start with a few positive remarks, but then I’ll spend the rest of the article bashing you, and then I’ll recap with how you can revise your ways. First things first: thanks for the snow thus far. I interviewed some students on campus, actually, just one, and she unanimously agrees that the white powder you’ve showered us indefinitely with is “aesthetically pleasing,” so rock on. Next-it’s the perfect amount for the time being. I don’t have to clumsily walk my way to class just yet, and I’m fine with that. You’ve given me the right amount with which to adapt to. I could probably sled, or even snowboard on what you’ve granted us with, so thank you.

Now on to what needs work. Keep the temperature below 32 degrees so I don’t have to deal with salty, mucky, dirty slush in my apartment. Here’s the thing: not only do I run the risk of getting my socks wet inside my place, but then, after the liquid has evaporated, I need to sweep or, god forbid, vacuum the entryway! That’s the last thing I want to do, so keep the temperature just under freezing. Maybe every once in a while, like on Friday afternoons when I’m not at class, you can raise the temperature so I can form snowballs to throw at unnoticing folks. Isn’t that the number one pastime kids enjoyed so much during their youth? Yeah, it is.

A few words on past winters: mostly sucky with a diminutive (at best) chance of a single good week of snow, but mostly just four or five months of cold, knuckle cracking time to be passed indoors writing papers for some unimaginative class that’ll end up not counting toward my major. I often wish I could hop on to amazon.com and view your lame attempts at past winters. They’d be displayed as “Mother Nature’s Best Of: Winter 2006 – DVD Collector’s Edition.” The DVD’s price would be $.01 cent with $3.99 shipping and be awarded one out of five stars. That’s like one full star next to four unfilled stars. That sucks. 

There you go, Momma, now haul your ass back to the drawing board and sketch some new plans to make this the most bombastic winter anyone in River Falls has ever seen-even the Minnesotans. I look forward to my second snow day here at school. I look forward to the e-mail I’ll get from some professor who knew damned well he or she could have made it to campus, but thought it best to just sleep in. Let’s go here, Momma. I really don’t want to have to call upon our local Irish Mafia to get involved here, but I’ll do what I have to do to get some results around here. And you, my faithful readers and appreciators, send Momma some mail. Let her know you want change and you want it now. Maybe we ought to arrange a meeting between Obama and Nature to sort some of this stuff out. 

Brad Brookins is a graduate of UW-River Falls.