(A few weeks ago I wrote this column before the weather changed, and we started seeing 80 degree temperatures for the first time since last September. Typical. If I'd written that it was going to be sunny and warm, the cold spell would've continued, right? Anyway, come back in time with me a few weeks, and breathe a sigh of relief for the chilling days we hope never to see again until next October.)
What is it with this insane weather this year? As I write this, it's in the 30s and the winds are howling outside, shaking my windows.
Why has it seemed, for the last few months, that for every decent day of weather we get, we have to endure a few weeks of awful weather?
This is the first of May, by gosh, and I'm still wearing the same winter coat that I started wearing last October, over seven months ago!
So what's all this I hear about "global warming?" When did Chicago and its suburbs become separate from the rest of the globe?
I expect to see ice forming on the lilac bushes anytime now. So just what's going on here? Will it ever warm up? Oh sure, I hear talk of a warming trend coming, but I've heard of them coming before, and nothing much happens. Maybe this one will be here for three or four days, maybe a week at most, then disappear quicker than you can say "new Ice Age."
Then again, maybe spring really is here to stay. If a few weeks go by with the temperature ceasing its dive to below 40 degrees, maybe then I'll believe in the existence of spring.
In my never-ending search to find answers for the reasons for this prolonged spell of weird winter, I immediately telephoned no less than the eminent Professor Jonathan Patrick Sludge, head of the United States Department of Wacky Weather.
Professor Sludge, can you explain, for the benefit of our readers, this spell of wacky weather that is driving us totally bonkers?
"Why, yes I can, Mr. Stach. We at the W.W.B., or Wacky Weather Bureau, have just completed an exhaustive survey."
"And we're exhausted. But here is, in a nutshell, what's happening. I will explain it in laymen's terms. Miss Canadian Coldfront comes down across the U S. for a romantic meeting with Mr. Southerly Hotair. When they meet, they embrace, but then Miss Coldfront asks Mr. Hotair if, while spreading across the states, that she looks fat, and the fool says 'yes.'"
Professor, I think ...
"So you see, Miss Coldfront gets really mad, and then attacks Mr. Hotair, and starts to cry. A lot. These tears we call rain. Rrrrain. Can you say rain, young man?"
Yes, of course, Professor, but ...
"Fine. After that, Mr. Hotair tries to apologize to Miss Coldfront, but she shoves him back down south, and then she stays there, and proceeds to give him a piece of her mind. So the cold air just hangs around the U. S. all the while."
Um, Professor, are you feeling well?
"Fine, my boy. But patching up their little romantic tiff takes time. Sooner or later, however, they will kiss and make up, and get married, and go on their honeymoon up near lower Canada. Then all will be warm and cuddly for the upper United States. Spring will then be here to stay."
Professor, you make all this sound like the cold front and hot air are cartoon characters.
"Well, you are from the Disney Channel, aren't you?"
No, Professor, I'm from the ...
"Nickelodeon Channel? Cartoon Network? Discovery Kids?"
No, Professor! I'm from the Landmark newspaper.
"Oh, I see. In that case, I should have given you the real estate development analogy. You see, here is Mrs. Little Oldbuilding, representing the cold air, and here is Mr. Big Developer, representing the hot air. Well, the ..."
Never mind it, sir. I have another question. Do you think we'll see any more examples of strange weather around the United States?
"Yes, yes, most absolutely. And around the whole world, as well. Why, do you know, right now, that koala bears are having snowball fights with the wallabies in Australia? And even closer to home, in Hawaii, frozen pineapples are falling off the trees like big fruit bombs. This drives the coconuts nuts."
Uh, OK, then. Professor, can you give us your opinion on when spring will finally come to the upper United States and stay here?
"Well, now, taking into consideration the various factors of meteorological phenomena, charting and aligning diverse weather patterns and checking to see if my bunion aches, I can say, without fear of contradiction, after sticking my head out of an open window, that the answer is uncategorically, unconditionally and undeniably, `sometime.'"
Sometime? Sometime when?
"Sometime spring will come, sit down in its old, red, comfortable armchair, put up its feet, find the remote, and laugh at the Weather Channel."
Hmm. And what about summer?
"Summer? Oh, we've canceled that!"
What? You can't cancel summer!
"Well, to tell the truth, it wasn't up to me. You see, Mr. Heat Miser had yet another fight with Mr. Cold Miser, who wants to expand his territory, and ..."
Thank you, Professor Sludge. And now, if you'll all excuse me, I'm going sledding at Swan Pond.
(Well, I never did go sledding, and it looks like the heat from global warming finally kicked in. Happy Spring, everybody! Finally!)