An Open Letter to Fall

I like you, fall, but you don’t like me — so noncommital. Like many ex-girlfriends, you arrive, leave, come back, run away and then come back again, only to stay for a few months before icing me out completely.

Why the hesitation, autumn? I love you for you. The cool nights, the sound of football in the air, the constant indecision on how many layers to wear because the temperature changes 35 degrees every 15 minutes.

It’s time for you to make a decision. Will you stay or will you go?

Mans Wears Dog On Head Like Russian Hat

Man uses puppy dog as Russian style hat in cold winter weather

Due to severe weather in February of this year, a man was seen walking around town with his small dog perched on top of his head.

“I use my dog like one of those furry Russian hats with the ear flaps,” the man said. “I looked down and realized he was the exact right size for my head.”

The dog rides along with his paws dangling, covering either the man’s ears or forehead, depending on the direction of the wind.

Woman Freezes Up When Trying to Decide What Boots To Wear

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Sally stood in front of the back hall racks where her various winter footwear stood patiently waiting.

“First day over 50 degrees in 3 months,” she said to her dog Pip who sat on the ground over near the register. “I don’t know what to wear.”

“Should I wear tennis shoes with a light grip so I can still walk on the ice, but the clear areas will be easier to walk? If I go that direction, I might have a tough time with the soft snow that is starting to melt in the sun.”

“How about my hiking boots, not the heavy ones but the lighter ones that still have that cool sole, but they aren’t so clunky as the big ones that look like you could use to walk on a glacier?”

Pip stared at her as she surveyed the racks for what seemed like half an hour. It was like this every year on the first warm weather day after a long winter.

“Come here, my old friend,” she said, pulling her L.L. Bean duck boots from a cubby hole, a pair she’s had since college. They were made by hand in Maine, with thick rubber on the bottom and leather uppers that were nicked from years of wear. The chain-tread bottoms were a little worn, but still looked good.

“These are the ones, Pip! Light and waterproof. I can just walk right through the puddles!”

Pip turned his head and looked out the window. Sunshine filled half the room, spilling into the kitchen.

“Finally we have a decision,” he thought.

Woman Found In House Sobbing and Screaming “Winter Will Never End!”

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Courtesy Keene Public Library via Flickr Commons

 

An Ohio woman in Cleveland’s “Snow Belt” east of town was arrested today after police found her shooting a gun out of a front window at nearby snowbanks, crying and screeching over and over, “Winter will never end! Winter will never end!” She was placed on a protective hold in a local mental facility until her trial comes up in June.

“Honestly, we could have scheduled the trial in March,” the judge said. “But we didn’t want to take the chance she would see snow and freak out.”

“Late February in Ohio has the highest incidence of winter-related breakdowns than any other time,” said the police chief. “We get more calls in those two weeks than the rest of the year. People start to snap due to the constant snowfall, frigid temperatures and endless days of grey, overcast skies. That and they live in Cleveland.”

Cleveland Man Won’t Shovel Sidewalks

House in Snow During Winter - Credit Keene Public Library
Credit: Keene Public Library

A man in Cleveland, Ohio won’t refuses to shovel the sidewalks in front of his house despite record snowfall during a bitter winter.

“I’m just renting here,” John Notgoingtoshovelson explained. “Why should I shovel the walks when the owner should do it.”

During our interview, passers-by could be seen slipping and falling as they tried to negotiate the treacherous sidewalk. One elderly lady tried to drag her shopping cart laden with groceries through the muck. It spilled when it turned over.

“I don’t care about those people,” he said. “They should contact the owner. If people want me to clean the snow off the sidewalks, they can pay me.”

Man In Yellow Coat Always Asked To Direct Cars In Parking Lots

man in yellow coatJohn Zlotskerpan of Coshocton, Ohio was surprised when his wife bought him a bright yellow coat for Christmas two years ago. “I’ve always wanted a bright yellow winter coat,” he said. “And dang, if she wasn’t paying attention, because when I unwrapped the box that morning, there it was.”

Mr. Zlotskerpan’s enthusiasm soon turned to dread, however. Everywhere he walked, from downtown areas of major cities to every event he attended, parking lot managers started yelling at him to quit goofing off and get to work directing cars.

“I love the color,” he explained. “It reminds me of Easter. But these guys thought I worked at the parking lots, and yelled at me to start waving cars in. It was crazy.”

Currently, he is weighing his choices. “Either I can make the jacket a different color, or I can stay home!” he laughed, hitting his wife in the side which made her giggle.

Tired of Winter? These Canadians Eat Winter For Breakfast

What? You are tired of winter? Aw, poor you! You want the sun to return and the endless grey skies of February to go away.

Your problem is you are weak. Take a lesson from these Canadians. They laugh at winter. Put on four pairs of long johns and come with us as we observe Canadians taking care of business.

 

These Canadians eat winter for breakfast

Frozen seaways? Haha. Canadians just cut ice away from frozen lakes and ponds! Hey, want some fresh ice in your Scotch on the rocks?

 

These Canadians eat winter for breakfast

You think you have a bad winter? This is Winnipeg in the middle of June. Spring won’t come until early July and summer is only a few weeks long!

 

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You know what that lady is carrying? A bow and arrow covered in cloth. If they see any bison, she whips out the bow and brings down the beast with one shot. Dinner is served!

 

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Too much snow on the lake to play hockey? No problem. These guys iced down an indoor greyhound racing track and started playing hockey within the next two hours!

 

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Got the winter doldrums? These people spiced up their winter days by racing for food. Only the winner gets to eat. You don’t need shorter winters. You need better ideas.

 

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This guy just pulled some fish out a hole he cut in the ice. Now he’s cutting the fish using a special boat he made with an old Sunfish sailboat and some indestructible kitchen knives he bought on QVC. You just need to get creative to enjoy winter, not hate it!

 

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Hi mom, I love winter!

 

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Aw, you find it hard to walk in the snow? These Canadians didn’t cry, they figured it out. Two tennis rackets and some duct tape and you are off and running!

 

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No money for winter sports? Get out your toughest blanket and throw your friends around like popcorn in the skillet. Listen, Canada has winter down “cold.” You just need to try harder.

 

Fire in the Sky

An earthquake hit the other day in LA. I woke up at 4 in the morning and my bed rolling like I was on a raft on the ocean.

I turned over and went back to sleep.

The next day I found out it was a 7.0 earthquake. To use the scientific term we use in Southern California: whatever. An earthquake here is about as much surprise as seeing she-males on Jerry Springer.

It is amazing how blasé Californians are to earthquakes. I was at Disneyland with friends once during a big tremor. The ground started to roll. A family from Tennessee in front of us ran around waving their hands in the air screaming, “Earthquake!”. Meanwhile, everyone from California turned sideways and rode the buckling asphalt like they were on surfboards.

This apathy isn’t unique to California. No one gets concerned about their own natural disasters. It’s too close to home.

In Michigan in 1995, a very popular beach at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore suddenly slid into the water. The same thing had happened there TWICE before. Apparently no one noticed. Or cared. Until they slid to the bottom of Lake Michigan.

“Honey, can you hand me that sunscreen WOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!”

(Speaking of Michigan, let me ask you this- why does the Michigan football team play on a cardboard field? Because they are only good on paper.)

People don’t expect natural disasters. This is not a new phenomenon. Pompeii was a busy town until Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, covering everything in 30 feet of volcanic ash.

“Run for your lives! There is a big wall of lava coming down the street!”.

“Oh, come on. Are you sure it’s not the Shrine parade. They have some crazy floats.”

It should not have been a total surprise. Mt. Vesuvius had erupted plenty of times before that. Why did they build the town NEXT TO A VOLCANO?

Real estate agents were the first one to call it “Mount” Vesuvius instead of Volcano Vesuvius. “Volcano? Where? Oh, no, that’s MOUNT Vesuvius. Great hiking up there.”

Even after the whole town was covered up in ash, people continued to move there. To remind these citizens they lived next to a volcano, in 202 Vesuvius erupted again. The eruption lasted a full week. And you thought it was bad when it rained the whole week you were in Puerto Vallarta.

Unlike earthquakes, hurricanes usually provide plenty of time to hit the road. Still, some people decide to hang in there. There are going to “ride it out”. Until the basement fills up with water and the roof ends up in Chicago.

There are three kinds of people when it comes to hurricanes:

– Sensible: This group makes up 80 per cent of the population. They board up the windows, keep fresh water handy and have 2 months of Radio Shack batteries for the transistor radio. They leave if prudence indicates.

– Stubborn: the same people that wouldn’t leave Pompeii. You would have to pry their clenched fingers off the porch railing to get them to leave their house.

– Paranoid: They hit the road as soon as there is a breeze over 10 miles per hour. Within 2 hours they are in Chicago watching a Cubs game. One family from New Orleans is so worried about hurricanes they live in their Winnebago for quick escapes. They usually park in the school parking lot.

“Have a good day, honey, we’ll be right here in the parking lot if you need anything. Come right home from school today. The Winnebago needs a bath.”

People live in the places where they have the same natural disasters every year. I talked with Clem Kopowitz of Wobbly Bowling Pin, Ohio. His family lives in Ohio’s tornado alley and survived one of Ohio’s biggest twisters.

“Clem, you lived though one of Ohio’s worst tornados. Why didn’t you move a long time ago?”

“Well, three years ago a twister took out St. Michael’s Hospital up ‘ere. Two years ago the Lincoln Road Elementary got picked up off the ground and thrown around- now it’s the Washington Blvd. Elementary. Last year the bowl-o-rama went from 24 down to 12 lanes. Ma and I just figured since we got three in three years there’s not a chance in hell we’ll get four. Then the biggest tornado I ever seen came through here. The whole damn house got ripped out of the ground. When we landed I opened the door to find out our front yard was now a beach front.”

On Lake Michigan.