I’ve lived through many a harsh winter and I don’t normally complain about it. But I’m disliking this winter with a passion. (Note to self: We’re barely one third of the way through.) The harshest winters I’ve ever known were when I lived in Upstate New York off Lake Ontario. The difference is, they know how to deal with ice and snow up in that part of the country–you have to in order to survive. But I’m living in Philadelphia now where the mere threat of flurries can bring the entire city to a grinding halt, schools and city offices close and trash pick-up is prematurely cancelled. Snow removal in Philly is a bunch of dumb-asses driving around salting the earth prior to the storm and then ignoring the ensuing slush and drifts that eventually turn into dangerous glare ice. They don’t quite get it in this town.
Philadelphia isn’t accustomed to brutally cold storms, and I have a lovely purple hematoma on my right hip to prove it. Winnie was pulling to sniff at an all-important patch of yellow snow while I was trying to keep my balance on an icy stretch of neglected sidewalk, when just the slightest tug from her on the leash was enough to topple me to the ground. Winnie is definitely a Philadelphia dog. She doesn’t care to do her business outside when the temperatures are this far below freezing, so she’s taken to leaving me little surprises all around the house. Winnie has never been the best behaved dog I’ve ever had. Don’t get me wrong, I love her to pieces, but she’s a complete catastrophe. In fact she’s a little like living with the young Helen Keller, only Winnie can both see and hear–she just isn’t receptive to training. The entire world is her toilet. And if I turn my back on my dinner, she’ll jump up on the dining table and polish-off my food in the blink of an eye. No disrespect meant by the way to the late Ms. Keller. She was much more easily housebroken.
As if the ice and snow weren’t enough, we have the Winter Olympics in Russia to help keep us warm. Truth to tell I’m so done with cold weather that there’s nothing remotely appealing about watching snow sports. What could be more entertaining than sitting slack-jawed in front of the television watching Olympiads “hurling” a ten ton brick of Haggis around with ice brooms? Clearly, the real story on the upcoming Olympics will be the blatant human rights violations and anti-gay bigotry being fostered by Russia’s top closet queen, Vladimir Putin. Buck-up, because winter isn’t going away for another two months or more, and unfortunately Vladimir Putin isn’t going anywhere either. So we all might as well slip some vodka in our mugs of hot coco and pass out in front of the boob-tube while the Winter Olympics bore us to death. (Or is that Boris to death?)
Disassociated Press, 1/27/2014