|A delight in December, maybe not so much in April (B.W. photo)|
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Winter wonderland in April - heavens to Betsy
Is this what we signed up for, living in Minnesota? Is it possible that it's a manifestation of global climate change? Don't call it "warming" anymore. This climate phenomenon has to do with extremes such as the intensity with which "Sandy" struck the east coast. Now we're seeing persistent winter-like conditions in the Upper Midwest. If I were inclined to use profanities, this might be the time.
The habit of using profanities seems connected to age and gender. I'm sure you've been in a restaurant and noticed a male over age 60 at a nearby table who sprinkles his speech liberally with such terms. Such men can sit in clusters. They'll talk about the (expletive) snow or (expletive) ice or (expletive) potholes etc. Some of these phenomena might seem deserving of a harsh "adjective." But often there seems no call at all to use such language. Somehow the habit got instilled in these men when young as sort of a cultural norm, in times that presumably had more adversity than today. They need to look real hard at "cooling it" today.
The time may be coming when young restaurant patrons might complain about hearing profanities sprinkled liberally. It might become like cigarette smoke. Carl Moser says of the guilty parties: "They don't even know they're doing it."
The (expletive) potholes are sure noticeable at the entry to the McDonald's restaurant. I have considered putting on a backpack and exploring one of them (LOL). I noticed recently that someone appeared to have taken the trouble to clear out the slush - make that the (expletive) slush - from the potholes, presumably to help motorists spot them and avoid them. Otherwise, "bang," you drive into them. And the colorful language might flow.
Don't assume that any lack of education lends itself to using the kind of language associated with "Sarge" of "Beetle Bailey." Richard Nixon was notorious. It's generational. It needs to get phased out.
Normally by mid-April, we're even past the "snirt" season. You know, "snirt," the combination of snow and dirt that becomes ubiquitous in late winter. Del Sarlette once suggested we have a "snirt festival" in Morris complete with a queen etc. He suggested a certain gentleman dressed in drag as the queen. I have suggested "Dyngus Day" as a celebration we might have in Morris. It would be up to the Catholics to lead. This falls on the Monday after Easter. It's a big deal in some cities around the U.S. Yes there's royalty, including the "pussywillow prince."
Morris has a big push for tourism now. We need to think in terms of events like this.
I'll suggest again we have the "world's biggest" something. Wheaton has the world's biggest mallard. There's a city that has the world's biggest bullhead, so we'll have to scratch that off the list. Maybe the pocket gopher?
I doubt the city of Morris has an appreciable snow plowing budget for the month of April. Our city is gearing up for tearing down the old school. I look at that old decaying hulk and want to utter an expletive. Actually the expletive would be directed at the unconscionable delay in getting the job done. What a (expletive) tragedy.
So, we're in a veritable snow globe now. Del reminds me of a phrase that you might hear out and about as you make your rounds: "Did you order this weather?" I'm wondering if this is one of those unique Minnesota phrases, suitable for attention from Howard Mohr. You might hear someone say "boy, all this snow in April - it's a heckuva deal, isn't it?"
"Heckuva deal" is definitely Minnesotan. Mohr compiles such language for books like "How to Speak Minnesotan." I used to wonder if I should type "heckuva" or "heck of a." "Heckuva" bothered me a little as it sounded like something out of a car dealership ad. But I have come to realize it's a quite accepted construction.
Sports now? Hell's bells, our current weather is throwing a heckuva curve at that. It makes us wonder why we don't have a domed stadium in Minnesota (LOL). I don't follow sports much anymore so it doesn't bother me.
If April showers bring May flowers, what do April snowstorms bring? They bring a grim reminder of the challenges we face as Minnesotans. The question arises: Is it just getting to be a bit too much? It's certainly a "heckuva deal." And we might trot out some colorful "adjectives" too. Let's call on that over-60 male crowd.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - firstname.lastname@example.org