Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Nurse the Hate: Hate The Polar Vortex

As the polar vortex descends on us, I remember being a boy in Erie PA when a cold snap hit us there.  As I recall, the local weather forecast noted it would be “very cold”.  Then the news cut to local basketball highlights.  It was all of 22 seconds of coverage because A) we lived in Erie and B) it was January where C) one could reasonably expect it to be very cold for a few days.  It has now been a solid 36 hours of frantic media each attempting to outdo the other in a frenzy of doom laden predictions of frostbite and instant death to any poor soul that dares to wander outside in zero degrees.

I had gone to the grocery store last evening for one item I needed for a recipe.  There was a large crowd shopping with a palpable sense of nervous hysteria in the air.  Bundled up Moms quickly shoved carts filled with diet soda and frozen foods in an “every man for himself” attitude.  I stood calmly at the register as a senior citizen fumbled with her Giant Eagle Advantage Card, freaking out she wouldn’t receive gas card rewards for her needed purchase of a 12 pack of Diet Rite Cola, deli turkey, and pickles.  Such are the trials one will go through for a package of panko breadcrumbs.  I walked out to my car as shifty eyed customers hustled inside to buy juice boxes and pre-packaged muffins.  It was like Rapture Jr.

I walked the bassets like normal this morning.  It was cold.  We did our thing.  The streets were completely deserted as if a neutron bomb had hit.  I speculated if I walked up to a neighbor’s house if I would be greeted by a crazed eyed, shotgun wielding madman.  “Get back!  Get back!  We don’t have any juice boxes!  Don’t make me shoot you!” He fires a warning shot in the air for emphasis as I calmly walk backwards while still facing him.  “Easy… Take it easy… We don’t want your juice boxes…”

I drove in with extremely light traffic.  Most everyone had been terrified into staying in their homes.  I was stunned to see almost deserted streets.  I had expected to see frozen corpses stacked like cord wood.  “Grandma is gone son.  Grab her feet.  Let’s put her out on the street.  Garbage men take her soon enough.  I expect we lose your mother tonight too.  They say it’s going down another three degrees today.  I hoped you’d never see a cold snap like this… At least not in my lifetime.  Now let’s go inside and kill your sister and make a stew out of her.  We’ll have her with some juice boxes.”

The issue isn’t the cold.  It’s too much communication.  When I was a kid there were three TV stations, a handful of radio stations and a newspaper.  There wasn’t the level of competition for people’s attention.  Now we have 275 TV stations, 22 radio stations, a newspaper, and an infinite number of websites all screaming at you.  Which are you likely to focus on?  “Cold Snap Hits Area For Three Days” or “Polar Vortex Brings Record Cold And Certain Death To Unprepared Populace”?  I get it.  Hell, I’m serving the masters that are part of The Problem.  It just doesn’t mean I have to like it.     


At January 31, 2019 at 11:58:00 PM EST , Blogger AZ said...

Ill communication. Does make going out to eat and drink an extreme joy.

My favorite is at OSU, where we never had classes cancelled despite -14 and -19 days, is that 25,000 students signed a petition to have classes cancelled. Way to fight for the real issues. If I did not want to go to classes for a reason, I did not and told my prof an excuse, made it up and survived. No harm, no foul and especially no petition for being bamboozled about the end of eternity.

With that said I never had a Professor like Ken Miller.


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