Are you ready for 16 inches of snow next week?
I'm not saying we're going to get it, just asking if you're ready. A true Minnesotan will not be seduced by a few days of sun and thaw. We know March is a leprechaun that bounces around with a delirious smile for a week, then cracks you across the skull with a shillelagh.
As I write this, the week's weather is predicted to be downright equatorial. Temps in the 40s and 50s, which I expect will banish all the snow except for those boulevard glaciers, which would last into late May if the shade is right. Throw some hay on those nodules, and they'll last through August.
But we forget that the state hockey tournament is coming, and that always brings a horrible blizzard that shuts down everything. Right? Everyone braces for the hockey tourney blizzard. I think it happened twice. But it's part of our lore, our mythos, the stories that make the history of a people!
BS, in other words.
Let us recall some other famous storms we are certain to experience:
The Optometrist Convention Storm. This one hits the second week of March, and everyone jokes "didn't see that coming!" The storms have different names every year; last year it was K S V R H; this year, if we get one, it'll be Z C R H S.
The Post-Australian Open Tennis Tournament Storm. Trust me on this: Every decade since 1977, there has been at least one major snowstorm following the conclusion of the famous tennis tourney Down Under. Scientists believe that the waving of tennis racquets, combined with the irritating grunts of the players, disturbs the atmosphere and produces severe weather on the other side of the globe.
The State AA Hockey Tournament Storm. This is not as bad as the AAA Hockey Tournament Storm, but some say it has more heart and means just as much to the tow-truck drivers as those who tow during the AAA Storm. Maybe even more. A lot of those drivers come from smaller towns that can't afford a big tow-training program, and they have to learn the skill themselves, towing cars with their pickups, honing their skills without the benefit of a full-time coach.
It's natural to relax our winter guard, of course. We think of St. Patrick's Day, which is green, and think four-leaf clovers will be bursting from fields liberated from the caul of ice and snow. How can this still be winter? The filling in the Oreo cookies is pastel-colored! There are colored-egg kits for sale! Target will be selling fireworks in a week!
We never learn. March is the cruelest month, not April. It giveth and it taketh away. It holds out a hand in friendship, and when you extend yours in return, it gives you a pebble-packed snowball with a firecracker inside. We endure because we must, and because we know that April will be better. It's not like it snows on April 30, right? Winter's done by then. Mostly. Usually.
Sure, there's the state AAA lacrosse tourney in May, which usually is associated with nine days of acid sleet. But once we're past that, we're in the clear. Summer, here we come!
email@example.com • 612-673-7858 • Twitter: @Lileks • facebook.com/james.lileks