“Thank you for calling the State of Minnesota Customer Service Line. If you know your party’s extension, please enter it now. If you would like to extend your party, please press 6. If you have a complaint about Minnesota, please press 2.”

(2 is pressed)

“For complaints about Minnesota nice being a sarcastic way of saying passive-aggressive, you could press 3, I suppose, if it made you feel better. For complaints about people who barge to the head of a lane because they read about the ‘zipper merge’ and think this gives them the right to do what they want despite what everyone else is doing, press 4. For complaints about the weather, please press your thumb against your carotid artery until you pass out, or stay on the line.”

(Stay on the line)

“Thank you. A representative will be with you shortly. There are 5,823 customers in the queue.”

(Hold music is polka versions of Prince songs. Seven hours pass.)

“Hello, Customer Service. How may I assist you today?”

Yes, hello, I purchased the 2019 12-month weather package, and I’d like to return it.

“I am sorry to hear that. Can you tell me what the problem is?”

It’s broken.

“I am sorry to hear that. How is your 2019 broken?”

It’s stuck. February was supposed to be short and dim and acceptably cold, but it was lethally frigid, and I didn’t order all that snow. It was like signing up for one of those home meal kit services, and they send you 40 pounds of cauliflower every other day. I have an ice dam that rivals Hoover Dam; when I was a kid, I loved the sight of icicles, but now they’re like Satan’s fork tines. March finally has arrived, and it’s supposed to provide a glimmer of delusional hope, but it’s just January all over again!

“OK, sir, I can help you with that. Have you tried turning off 2019 and turning it on again?”

Yes, I threw out my calendars and bought new ones. Nothing. Look, I know people think this is the worst time ever in history, but think of a guy in a besieged city in 1327 AD who just saw the enemy loading plague-infested corpses on a catapult to throw over the walls, and the guy’s probably got a toothache too, you know? Could be worse. I get that. But it doesn’t take away from the fact this year is faulty, and I want a refund.

“Sir, after March 1 we cannot offer refunds on your 2019 package, but we may be able to give you some upgrades. I can give you the Silver Premium bundle, which has five unexpectedly hot days at the end of April to make you think spring really is here for good. Or, if you would like to switch to the Ultimate Premium level, we can take off the cold snap in the middle of May that makes a mockery of the flowering trees and early flowers.”

That would be fine. Does this affect the duration of summer?

“This package is good through July. We are unable to offer any guarantees after that.”

Instead of a refund for February, could you apply that to October, so the entire month isn’t like the dank breath of the grave?

“I can make a note in your file, sir. As long as you’re here, can I interest you in pre-subscribing to 2020?”

Are you kidding? After this year so far? After the service I’ve gotten? I’ve had it. I’m moving to Arizona.


Yeah, sure, sign me up.