I’m back from the future and can report on 2017. This isn’t a full accounting, but it’ll give you an idea of what’s ahead. Don’t worry! Everything goes OK, except for that thing I can’t talk about.
January: Get ready for that winter thaw we all look forward to — temps should be 83 by noon! Unfortunately, they’ll be 43 million degrees by 12:01, since our models show the sun going nova. Expect a rough evening commute.
February: The Mall of America announces that the space vacated by the movie theaters will be filled by a 37,000-square-foot Apple store that sells one cable.
March: A brutal, uncompromising series of winter storms shut down I-94 from St. Cloud to Fergus Falls. “We can’t find it,” MnDOT says of the freeway. “We know it’s somewhere under the snow, but we sent out the plows, and they ended up going through fields, running into barns.”
April: A gentle, understanding series of late-winter storms bear down on the state, then veer off when they see that the tulips are out. Bluebirds appear; the trees bud; the ice is out of the lakes before the taxes are due. Minnesotans find themselves behaving uncharacteristically, singing in public and hugging people they just met on the elevator. This, we say to ourselves, is why we live here.
May: By the end of the month, the state has finished digging out from the Great Storm of April 30th.
June: Wet conditions mean a late start to the farming season. “It’s as bad as I’ve seen it,” says Pete Johnson, who’s been farming since 1974 and giving interviews about how bad it is since 1975. “This is like ’87, when I had to switch from flax to shrimp.”
July: The Twins have a winning record. “I think what we have to do is keep striking the ball with a long, tapered wooden stick,” says manager Kent Hrbek, “and having more of our guys run all around the bases than the other guys. If we can do that, our inevitable collapse next month will be all the more heartbreaking.”
August: Ground is broken on a new soccer stadium in St. Paul, unearthing remnants of a vast pre-Columbian settlement.
September: The entire metro area feels vaguely guilty when Yurt De Chez Casa, a Mongolian-French-Spanish fusion restaurant everyone kept meaning to go to but they heard there was always a long wait, goes out of business. The owner, Chlory Angus-Boeuf, said, “It’s the economics that forced our closure. That, and the dreadful food.”
October: With no election coming up, unpleasant people react to the onset of fall by yelling at fire hydrants and calling radio stations to complain about the order of letters in the alphabet.
November: As the month begins, weather forecasters call for “unseasonably moderate” temperatures thanks to a persistent El Nono; some scientists warn that climate change will lead to “catastrophically reasonable” weather over much of the Great Plains, adding that saying “global warming!” when it snows was funny the first time, maybe.
December: After a brilliant start, the Vikings ...
Aw, you know. It was a year in Minnesota. You know how it goes.