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Pet Peeves for the Common Man – Winter

Winter: Our Common Enemy

Winter has come with a vengeance this year. It was -11 degrees Fahrenheit here in Chicago yesterday. During the day. You’re reading that correctly. Global warming my ass. I’m going to start running my car 24/7 and burning my trash in the back yard in hopes that maybe, just maybe the globe will warm. To hell with the polar bears. They’re jerks anyway, looking all cute and soft and cuddly and then being all ferocious and deadly. Screw them.

If you’re anything like me – which is to say patriotic, attractive, and not covered in very warm fur – then you hate winter, purely and without reservation. No one moves to the North because they “totally love it when it’s so cold outside that my skin hurts” or because ” it’s so awesome when my car slides all over the place and it takes two hours to drive ten miles.” I’m a skinny Irish guy from South Texas. Winter turns me into an angry(er), crabby, vulgar (more than usual) recluse that dreams of warmer climates. I moved to Chicago for college and stayed for friends and opportunities, but this damn winter is on the verge of chasing me the hell out of here. People say “snow is beautiful.” Yeah, on postcards it’s awesome. Or maybe at a ski resort that you visit for a weekend. I shoveled snow for three and a half hours the other day. Someone want to tell me that’s beautiful? I’ll kick you in the face. There are other people that have positive things to say about winter. Wise people. Let’s see if we can’t find something to brighten up this “record breaking” winter during these times of “global warming.”

“Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.” – Victor Hugo

Is that right, Vic? You know, I wanted to laugh yesterday when I was walking two blocks to get to my car after work. Maybe I could have tested out your theory, except my face was frozen and breathing made me cough because the air hurt my throat.

“In the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer” – Albert Camus

I guess you’re a little right Al. In the depths of winter there certainly is an invincible summer inside me, in the way that all I can do is piss and moan about how cold it is and how much I want to move to California where the forecast is perpetual Summer with a good chance of hot chicks in bikinis. Know what we’ve got here in the Midwest in terms of ladies? We’ve got girls that might be pretty, but you can’t really tell under the five layers of clothes they have to wear to keep from getting frostbitten. Oh, and according to some personal testimonials I’ve heard during my time in Chicago, the ladies up here use the winter as an excuse to not shave their legs since they don’t show them at all. Sexy. So maybe it’s an invincible fantasy of summer?

“One kind word can warm three winter months.” – Japanese Proverb

The Japanese are smart people. They’ve dominated the car market and revolutionized tons of sweet electronics. Thumbs up. And I see where you’re going with this one, Mr. Japanese Proverb Guy. I do. Sentimentality and all that, smiles, hugs, tee hee hee. WRONG. That’s a really stupid thing to say. If I was warmed by someone giving me a high five and telling me that I’m the bestest, I wouldn’t be giving half my paycheck to Nicor.

“Adversity draws men together and produces beauty and harmony in life’s relationships, just as the cold of winter produces ice-flowers on the window-panes, which vanish with the warmth.” – Soren Kierkegaard

Well now, looky here. Leave it to Kierkegaard to provide us with some truth and wisdom. This is the only positive thing about winter. It unites us all. We’re all suffering through this crap together. Getting mugged downtown? Just say “Dude, it’s winter! We’re on the same team!” The mugger will slap his hand to his forehead in a Boy Meets World revelatory fashion and then apologize. When Spring finally rolls around in mid-May, the entire city of Chicago is all hugs and smiles. The results of seasonal affective disorder go from depression to manic, transforming the population of the winter-ravaged North into a mass of psychotic, giggling high fivers. There’s a camaraderie that can come only from this common ailment. So, for all its royal suckage, at least winter brings people of all backgrounds together to form one united middle finger pointed directly at this wretched, Godless season.

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