Is It Hell?
by Mad Dog
The Earth is divided into lines called longitude and
latitude. One set is the vertical stripes, which make the Earth look slimmer, while the
other is horizontal, which make the Earth look heavier.
|| Its snowing like
crazy here, and just the fact that Im looking out the window and seeing it instead
of watching it on the Weather Channel makes me realize crazy is the imperative word.
"Here" is upper Michigan. If you hold your left hand up, palm out, and look at
the back of your hand, Im right about at the tip of your ring finger. If
theres one thing you learn when you cross the border into Michigan its that
the state looks like the back of your hand and holding it up and pointing is the only way
anyone knows how to answer the question "Where do you live?" This is very
different from New York City, where they also show you the back of their hand when you ask
that question, the difference being here they dont slap your face with it.
It snows a lot at the tip of your ring finger. It snows more
above that but Im not sure thats really Michigan even though they swear it is.
If I cant see it when I hold up my hand then as far as Im concerned its
not a part of this state. Thats Canada theyre referring to. Or the Arctic.
Maybe the edge of the Earth where you run the risk of falling off and drowning in an
endless sea of back bacon drippings. Stop me if Im being redundant.
Im a little surprised about this weather since Im
not that far from the 45th Parallel, which I passed on the way up here. The 45th Parallel
is the halfway point between the North Pole and the equator. The Earth, as you might
remember from that experiment in subliminal learning you conducted during science class by
sleeping in the hopes that your subconscious would overhear the lecture and some of it
would stick, is divided into lines called longitude and latitude.
People put up with frigid temperatures, blazing heat and humidity, hurricanes, floods,
earthquakes, and no coffee shop within walking distance. Why would anyone voluntarily put
themself through that?
|| One set is the
vertical stripes, which make the Earth look slimmer, while the other is horizontal, which
make the Earth look heavier, which was especially bad during the Ice Age when it retained
all that water. I can never remember which is longitude and which is latitude because no
elementary school teacher ever taught me a cute rhyme to help me out like they did with
"Thirty days has September, April, June, and some month ending in
ember..." I need mnemonic devices like that. If it wasnt for the
fact that Mad Dog spelled backwards is God Dam Id never remember my name.
Youd think the point midway between the
equator and the North Pole would be somewhat temperate. Lincoln City, Oregon is also on
the 45th Parallel and it doesnt have snow from August through July like they do
here. This time of year it snows pretty much every day. Or so it seems. One night last
weekluckily before I got herethey had fourteen inches of snow. A few nights
agoalso luckily before I got herethe wind chill was 19F (which for you
metric fans is 2 litres below zero Celsius). Yet the people stay. Freezing. Plowing.
Shoveling. Its incredible.
I often wonder why people live where they do. They put up with
frigid temperatures, blazing heat and humidity, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and no
coffee shop within walking distance. Why would you voluntarily put yourself through that?
Some people do it because of their job. Others because of family. I think most people do
it because they like to complain.
I can sit here and watch the snow pile up and hear that the temperatures will drop lower
than George W. Bushs I.Q. and not be too concerned. After all, in a week or two
Ill be somewhere else.
|| As humans, and
Im not necessarily including myself in this category, we dont like being too
happy. We think we dont deserve it. We think life should be harder. Were
afraid were going to get a surprise bill at the end of the month for going over our
happiness limit and that will mean scrimping and saving and not being able to afford that
new dress or bottle of wine without a screw top, which is just as well since having them
would only make us happier and then wed be even more over our limit, meaning the
bill would be even higher and when would it ever end?
You have choices, use them. If its cold all the time and
you dont like it, move to Nevada. If you love it, quit lying and move to Nevada
anyway. Theres plenty of room since no one lives there. You can drive along Highway
50, which they call the Loneliest Road in America, and realize that nothings been
that appropriately nicknamed since Jesse "The Mind" Ventura. Okay, bad example.
Nevada is nothing but open land. Warm land. Land with no snow. If you live in Nevada and
its too hot and dry for you just hold your hand up, palm out, and Ill show you
a great place for you to move to, though it might be one finger over from your ring
Its easy for me to talk about this since I dont
live anywhere. Or more appropriately I live everywhere. Im a postmodern Nomad.
Thats why I can sit here and watch the snow pile up and hear that the temperatures
will drop lower than George W. Bushs I.Q. and not be too concerned. After all, in a
week or two Ill be somewhere else and with luck (and good planning) it will be
warmer. But when Im gone theyll still be bundling up, plowing the roads daily,
shoveling walks, and talking about how it was so cold last night their tongue froze to
their toothbrush. Better them than me.
©2000 Mad Dog Productions, Inc. All
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