Oh Hell No

It’s winter here in Minnesota, and it’s been a weird one so far. By this time last year, we were up to our asses in snow. This year – well, the day before yesterday, on the 15th of December – we had tornadoes. And the day before that, it was 65 degrees. Today the low was 14 degrees. I know you have a right to change your mind Mother Nature, but seriously, WTF.

It’ll come sooner or later. Flesh-freezing fifty below wind chills, snow piles at the end of your driveway tall enough to ski, frost-covered windshields. Winter in Minnesota, other than Christmas week, sucks. Yet every time we get a big storm, the TeeVee weather reporters manage to interview the two people who love winter.

  • The snow-bunny dressed in her powder pink snowsuit, rabbit-fur-edged hood, matching fur-edged boots; “Oh it’s absolutely beautiful,” she gushes, “I love the snow, it’s so sparkly . . . and cold. And . . .
  • The good ole boy at the gas station, filling his pickup with gas, wearing nothing but a sleeveless flannel shirt and shorts, “This here’s,” (pauses to spit tobacco juice) “this here’s what livin’ in Minnesota’s all ‘bout.”

Why don’t they ever interview those same two people in mid-April after we’ve just had 12 inches of heavy, wet, never-ending slop?

Now, the snow bunny in the corner tavern, hanging on the end of the bar, shot and beer sitting in front of her. She’s wearing sweatpants and a wife-beater, salt-stained Ugg Boots. With a cigarette hanging from her lower lip she says, “This fuckin’ snow? It’s fuckin’ bullshit what it is. I’m movin’ to Florida. Fuck this shit.”

The good ole boy, still in his flannel shirt and shorts, he’s just passed out in a booth, empty beer bottles littering the table.

So here are the facts about winter: it will, on occasion, get so mother-frickin’ cold here in Minnesota, and Wisconsin and North and South Dakota, that you can die from exposure. I looked it up; more than 500 people die every year in the United States from exposure to cold.

There are days, you go outside without your longs johns and your parka and your mittens and stocking cap, wool socks and thermal boots, and you’re done; you’re a popsicle inside of five minutes. They’d have to cremate your remains – Sam McGee style – just to thaw you out.

No question, staying in the house ‘less you freeze to death makes for a long winter. But as much as I despise cold and snow and winter, it pales in comparison to this headline I read recently:

“3 DEAD, HUNDREDS INJURED AFTER STORMS ROUSE SCORPIONS IN EGYPT.”

Here are excerpts from an article, written by Sharon Pruitt-Young and posted on the NPR website;

“Three people are dead and hundreds are injured after inclement weather roused hordes of venomous scorpions out of their hiding places and into streets and homes . . . “

And . . . “three people have died from scorpion stings and 450 people have been injured by the stings thus far . . . “

And . . . “health officials have even called in doctors who were on vacation to help treat the influx of patients . . .”

And finally . . .

“in the meantime, residents are being asked to stay inside their homes.”

Residents are being asked to stay inside their homes?! Because the streets are overrun with scorpions?!?!?!? What in the wide world of old testament tales did you folks do? Apparently, the big guy is still pissed at you people for that whole Pharoah fiasco back in the day. Were the ten plagues just not enough for you?!?!?!

Ten plagues you ask? Yeah, I know – me too – I was raised Evangelical Luthern and we didn’t talk much about the bad stuff. As the story goes: God was incensed with the Pharoah of Egypt because he wouldn’t free the Israelites from slavery. So he started settin’ some nasty old plagues on the Egyptians to convince the Pharoah of what Abe Lincoln already knew. Problem was, every time a plague lifted, the Pharoah – like your typical politician – would go back on his word.

First plague, water being turned into blood. Then you got your frogs, your lice, your flies, and then livestock pestilence. After that, everybody gets boils, then they get hailed on, then the locusts come, and finally, darkness sets in, and they start with the killing of firstborn children. And this went on for 40 years.

Just as an aside here, I don’t get the frogs. First, he turns the water into blood, which really had to mess with their heads, and then frogs? Was this like God’s first time trying to be a badass? I can see the Pharoah sitting on his gold and jewel-encrusted throne, servants fanning him with those big palm fronds on sticks, half-naked maidens serving him buffalo wings on gold platters, and Grain Belt in crystal mugs (they didn’t have craft beer back then). The Pharoah, with his feet up on the back of a kneeling slave, (they hadn’t invented hassocks yet either) chiding God with “This is what you got for me? Frogs? Ooooh, I’m scared now. Ribbit, ribbit.”

I think we’d probably agree that a plague of scorpions is way worse than a plague of frogs. And as far as plagues go, if the man in charge has something in mind, he seems to have come up with a winner in COVID. The downside, of course, is that it’s tough to get the average moron’s attention unless they get the virus and wind up on a ventilator.

In my opinion, in today’s world, if you’re God, and you want to get everyone’s attention – without the heavy loss of life like COVID – you need to get up on technology. You can’t be a Luddite and God at the same time.

To get the modern sinner’s attention, without killing them, you need to mess with their minds. And you need to get ‘em where it hurts.

Plague #1: THOUGH SHALT ONLY EAT ONE VEGETABLE – BRUSSELS SPROUTS.

I realize this isn’t technologically based but it’s kinda like the frogs, starting out with something a little less severe. And if I can make a request on this one, can we change the name to Brussel sprouts – instead of Brussels? I mean come on, is Belgium that hard up for being known for something? “This is “our” vegetable.” Fine, whatever, keep it.

Plague #2: THOUGH SHALT ONLY MAKE PIZZA USING THE LITTLE CEASAR’S RECIPE.

To me, this seems like someone had an in. Caesar up there in Heaven sees God at the local pub, buys him a beer. “Hey God, lemme run somethin’ by ya.”

Plague #3: THOUGH SHALT ONLY WEAR CROCS, OR IN A PINCH, CHEAP KNOCK-OFFS THAT LOOK LIKE CROCS.

Personally not a problem for me. I even have fur-lined Crocs for getting the mail and filling the bird feeders in the wintertime. Of course, I realize black stockings and a mini-skirt with Crocs probably ain’t gonna help you land a date. (I am referring to the women reading this post. Not that I’d wear black stockings with a mini-skirt.)

Plague #4: THOUGH SHALT ONLY DRIVE A BASE MODEL LAVENDAR COLORED CHEVY SPARK.

No more SUVs, no more mini-vans, no more eight-foot beds that never have to be made. Obviously, this would create a huge market for aftermarket custom parts. Kinda like back in the day when you could turn your VW bug into something that looked like a Rolls Royce.

Plague #5: THOUGH SHALT ENJOY MUSIC NO MORE.

From this day forward all radio stations and internet music services play only one song, over and over and over again: “It’s A Small World” from the Disney ride. It won’t kill you but you’ll wish it would. You get a break on Halloween when the song would switch – for one day – to the Lollipop Guild song from the Wizard of Oz.

Plague #6: THOUGH SHALT ENJOY TEEVEE NO MORE.

From this day forward all TeeVee stations and streaming services shall only play the season nine finale of The Bachelor. You know, the one with the Prince and the rose ceremony at the end. Once a year you get a break and get to binge-watch an entire day of Green Acres.

Plague #7: THOUGH SHALT NO LONGER USE PRIME DELIVERY AND EVERYONE MUST ORDER EVERYTHING OVER THE PHONE FROM AN OPERATOR IN INDIA.

No more instant gratification. No more; push-a-button-and-the-Amazon-truck-pulls-in-your-driveway. This one’s gonna save you money once you get used to it.

Plague #8: THOUGH SHALT NOT OWN A SMARTPHONE.

From this day forward all cell phone companies may only produce flip phones whereon you have to press each number the requisite number of times to create a letter which means it takes, on average, 15 minutes to text “send nudes,” by which time the recipient has fallen asleep.

Plague #9: THOUGH SHALT ONLY USE TRUTHFUL SOCIAL MEDIA PHOTO FILTERS.

This will obviously cut down on the number of six-pack abs, and the, here-I am-at-the-beach-with-my-tight-toned-ass-and-perfect-perky-boobs images.

And finally . . .

Plague #10: THOUGH SHALT RUN EVERY SOCIAL MEDIA POST THROUGH THE BIG-BROTHER-BULLSHIT-CATCHING FILTER.

No more, “I only work 60 minutes a day and I make six figures a year.” No more, “I ate nothing but kumquats for 30 days and this is what happened.” But best, best, best of all . . . . . . . . no more “I won the election.”

I guess that’s not such a bad plague after all. Bring it on Big Guy.

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