Now, A Word About Snow

View from my deck

Meanwhile in Vancouver, Canada, a couple of days ago, Mother Nature and Old Man Winter got together in a romantic embrace and — Bullshit! Last Thursday night, Mother Nature and Old Man Winter had spectacular, incredible sex — and they went at it all weekend like a couple of perverted porn stars.  The result was (and still is) a snow storm of biblical proportions.  The roads are icy, the sidewalks are impassable, buses are as rare as unicorns and you need to produce holy relics to get a taxi.  In short, my town has turned into an illustration from the Book of Revelation.

FYI — There is a universal myth that my country, Canada, is a gigantic vertical refrigerator sprinkled with igloos and Inuit, while the rest of us cling to the 49th parallel as if the USA were a bowl of hot soup.  The fact is, 99.99% of that myth is true, except for my town, Vancouver (Vangroovy, as it is affectionately called) where the local word for “bad weather” is — well — we don’t actually have one.  Normally, we have the kind of weather California used to brag about — before the droughts, fires and pestilence.  Our golf courses are open year round, it’s not recommended but you can wear shorts all winter and — on most days — play tennis in them.  Trapped between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Vancouver has weather so different from the rest of Canada that the children here think Disney’s Frozen is a horror movie.

And that’s the problem.  We are not prepared for this white crap.  We have no idea what it is.  On Thursday evening, the snow was beautiful, drifting in the dark, covering everything in a crystal blanket that sparkled in the quiet light.  But by Friday morning, it was showing its teeth — growling and snarling at anybody who ventured out — driving them into the ditch and shoving them off the sidewalk.  Then on Saturday and Sunday,  things just got nasty.  It was as if Jack Frost was channeling Jack the Ripper and they were both trying to decide where to stick the icicle in next.  Vancouver’s snow removal crew (three guys with two shovels) finally gave up and hid out in a bar, and the only thing left for the good citizens of Vangroovy to do was lock the doors and pray.

Now it’s Tuesday with no relief in sight.  So would everybody who reads this please pray for rain in Vancouver — so we can get back to normal and the rest of Canada can start hating us again?  Thank you!

Hell-o Spring

View of my street

Okay, Spring! Winter and I have been living together for months now; don’t think you can come along and just break us up.  I’ll always love Winter: we’re cuddling and cozy, and she’s my soulmate.  You think you’re something special, but you’re still only the third best season.  You might be better than Summer, but that ain’t sayin’ much.

It’s common knowledge that, ever since our Cro-Magnon ancestors decided to take up home decorating in the south of France, Spring has been working overtime to convince us that she is the best season on the calendar.  Crap!  I like Spring as well as the next guy, but here are a couple of little items that prove she’s wrong.

First of all, Spring is sneaky.  She tempts us with sunshine and warm weather, saying things like, “Come out and play!” and “You don’t need a jacket.”  Then, the minute we get 10 metres out the door, she hits us with rain, wind, hail — that’s big enough to hurt — and that frozen sleety stuff that can actually tear your clothes.  How many times have you gone to work on a gorgeous spring morning and come home that night, soaked through to your underwear with your shoes full of mud?  In my country, I’ve seen beautiful April days turn into debilitating snowstorms in less than hour and more than a few crops of innocent little vegetables murdered overnight by a killer frost in May.  Spring is the original Femme Fatale.

Second, Spring means work.  Yeah!  Yeah!  Yeah!  Spring’s always talking about what a wonderful time she has with love and sex and “The Birds And The Bees.”  But good luck with that.  Once things start blooming, the only al fresco activity anybody with a back garden ever gets is “Work Your Ass Off!”  And we better do it, too, or Spring will turn our homes into overgrown holiday camps for badgers, wolves and crack addicts.  So, we plant, we water, we weed, we water some more — oh, yeah, and cut the grass.  Then there’s more weeding.  Cut the grass, again.  And WTF, it’s time to repaint the fence or rebuild the garden wall.  By the time there is a moonlight evening worth sitting under, most of us are too exhausted to do anything but snore.  Spring could give lessons to Lady Macbeth.

And finally …. Wait a minute!  What’s that smell?  OMG, that’s incredible!  I didn’t know air could smell that good.  And listen to the birds!  It’s like a symphony.  And there’s daffodils!  Crocuses!  I don’t even know what those pretty little pink things are.  Fantastic!  Feel that sun!  My God, it’s great to be alive!

“Well, hi there Spring.  How ya doin?  No, Winter and I’ve decided to give each other some space.  Uh — ya think maybe you and I could hang out for a while….?”