Monday, December 27, 2010

snow blindness

A former CD of mine, Andy Azula, once said that living in Minnesota was akin to being in a bizarre secret government experiment where they try to determine how people would survive on another planet.

I don’t know why he sugarcoated it.

Last week, my eyes began to hurt. A dull ache, like how my soul feels when I watch the sunset at 4PM. So I asked my friend if he noticed anything wrong with 'em. No, he reassured me, the creeping pain of my irises being vacuumed out of my sockets was merely a sign of dehydration. Not to worry, he went on, it's just what the cold air of Minnesota does to you.

Okay, let me get this straight. Not only does Minnesota go around collapsing the roofs of professional football facilities and freezing any millimeter of accidentally exposed skin colder than Walt Disney's head, but — BUT — the one thing you can't wrap in 5-million count goose down, it slooowly sucks from your skull if you forget to guzzle your body weight in water every day. Just to be an ass.

I guess I am but your guinea pig, Minnesota. What the hell.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

the jingle bell, it tolls for thee

Tomorrow is the first official day of winter.

Tomorrow.

For most of the country, this marks the official start of cooler temperatures, hot cocoa and Christmas cheer. In Minnesota, it merely marks the re-affirmation of the pact you’ve made with your neighbors not to eat each other when things get even worse.

Last week, Minneapolis was hit by a snowstorm that makes the term “snowstorm” seem about as tough as a slap from Richard Simmons.

This was the 5th worst blizzard since the state masochistically began keeping records of these near-extinction events over 100 years ago.

How do you describe the sheer horror of 20+ inches of snow vivisecting every living thing on the ground? How do you recount the godlessness of fat white snowflakes dropping like missiles as far as the eye can see? You can’t. It’s like trying to describe the aftermath of Antietam. The apocalyptic visions of the apostle John. Or the popularity of ”Two and a half Men.”

Did I mention that winter starts tomorrow?

After a few hours outside last week — my beard frozen and the cold wind tearing through my feeble bronchial sacs like a pit bull through raw steak — I realized my snow shovel was no match for the task before me. Save for the graces of a few kind neighbors who helped me plow my driveway, I would probably still be holed up in my house. Thinking about reneging on our pact.

My friends, to this aberration of nature I have but one hoarse whisper.

What the @#$%ing hell, Minnesota.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

something wicked this way comes

The first snow blitzkrieged through Minneapolis back in mid-November, dumping 10+ inches of thick white evil all over my yard. It was, according to a friend who has lived here for a decade, merely a “light dusting.” No doubt years of Surly consumption, coupled with cumulative bouts of near hypothermia, had divorced him from a reality enjoyed by people below the 45th parallel. I don't call 10 inches of snow a "light dusting" so much as I call it "God turning his back on creation."

The next morning, out I went, shovel in hand. After two hours of hoisting heavy powder — yes, two hours of heaving mounds of Satan’s manna into Tetons alongside my driveway — I stopped at the curb to survey my work. Victory. That’s when I heard a low rumble behind me. I turned in time to avert the city snowplow barreling down the street.

Apparently the snowplow's job isn’t so much to clear the roads as it is to deposit giant boulders of ice in peoples' driveways, along with more hills of snow for said people to slump into after they have a heart attack. The driver waved as he churned past; a metaphorical middle finger. My neighbor, also watching this spectacle from his driveway, turned to me and shrugged. Then the two of us, like some sad Siberian prison chain gang, began to chip away at our collective driveways. The rhythmic crunch, crunch, crunch of our shovels echoing in the sharp air: what.the.hell.Minnesota.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

pry my ticket out of my cold, dead hands

Tonight, my CD (that's "creative director" for you non-ad folks) informed me that the police can ticket you for letting your car warm-up outside while unattended. So, presumably, you have to sit there while your engine sputters to life and gasps "what did i ever do to you, asshole?" Which defeats the whole purpose of this exercise in the first place. I wonder if the police can ticket my frozen carcass that’s been carbonited to the driveway after three minutes? Seriously, what the hell, Minnesota?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

really, minnesota, what the hell

In Dante’s 9th circle of Hell, the narrator tells us of a deep, dark, frozen lake of blood and guilt, formed from the tears of Lucifer who is gnawing on the souls of Brutus and Judas. He is describing Minnesota.

People have said Minnesota is just the opposite of Texas, in that instead of spending the summer running from building to building desperately seeking air conditioning, you spend the winter trying to stay warm. I disagree with this assessment. Texas is more “oh, it’s sweltering, I’m really uncomfortable, sweat is rolling down my back, I feel so gross, ick” and Minnesota is more “oh, I’m freezing. And now I’m dead.”

These same people say “all you need to do is survive your first winter here, Kevin!” Which is kind of like being in a war and saying “all you need to do is not get sprayed by a bunch of bullets, Kevin!“ Great. Thanks. I’ll try.

It stands to reason that no sane person, at least one not born and bred in this frigid land, would ever move here. Obviously I've lost my mind. So, until I lose my extremities to frostbite, join with me as my blood thickens and I ask “what the hell, Minnesota?” Because hitting keyboard keys with my fingers is slightly more cathartic than hitting a door with an axe.