Friday, December 17, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside

The frigid air finally arrived in New England a couple of weeks ago. The temperature dropped to 32 degrees even here in the city, with several nights in the teens. So Nancy, a veteran of heinous winters, started paying attention to the weather reports on the nightly news. "This is nothing." she said, and keeps saying. It takes a person from a very cold place to scoff at a Boston winter. And she does come from a very cold place. A place called, "Minnesota." You've heard of it.

The American Siberia. The Tundra. The Land of 10,000 Frozen Lakes and millions of stiff nipples. A place the Native Americans call, "Haudanotooki," which translates to, "Holy Shit It's Cold."

Okay, I can't back that last one up, but with temperatures routinely below zero, "lake effect" snow, and frozen pipes, Minnesota takes the frozen ice cream cake for cold.

But something else happened when Nancy watched the weather report. She laughed her ass off. So I said, "Lovey, what be so funny?" She told me that, here in Boston, we use very odd and amusing expressions to describe rain, wind, snow, cold, and all that...weathery stuff. Here is a list of the phrases that made my sweetheart laugh. Most of them could be used as euphemisms for sex.

1. "Fingers of moisture" for scattered showers.
2. We don't have flooded and snowed out "back roads," we have "tertiary roads."
3. A nor'easter described as a "wet bomb from the sea."
4. "Astronomical high tides." It just struck her as funny.
5. And, of course, "fat flakes." Which could be wet snow, or a weight loss center for homosexuals.
6. "Snowin' on the fish." A nor'easter that misses and goes out to sea.

Every night, I take a gander at Lake Superior, and reckon the location of Duluth, and Minnesota in general. As we amble on towards Christmas, I can't help but notice that the region has become a snowy Hellscape. Fresh water from the lake crashes onto the shore and covers whatever is nearby in ice. In Boston, we have salt water, which is kind enough to freeze you to death without making it hard to move.

In parts of Greater Boston, including where Nancy and I are huddled together for warmth, there is a wet, snowy problem that afflicts us more than even those lutefisk eatin', Canadian beer drinking, ice fishing denizens of Minnesota. That problem is parking. In Boston, when it snows enough to be shoveled, something happens. People turn tribal. Get violent. After a space is shoveled, something useless (a chair or perhaps a Republican) is propped up in place of the car when it leaves to prevent anyone else from taking the spot. If you are unwise enough to move a space holder and park in someone's pristine spot, well, kiss your tires goodbye. Boston is a very densely populated city, and parking spaces are prime real estate.

Other than that, I agree with Nancy. Minnesota is the Grand High Poo-Bah of Frozen Eyeballs.

1 comment:

Kari Fisher said...

Great blog, Darren! And even in Minnesota those souls who live up by the Lake get a special award.