BOSTON — Spring comes fast in New England and, ironically enough, always just in time to validate the latest seemingly absurdist prediction from that contrarian Midas, the local weatherman. When he says snow, there is rain. When he says no snow, there is two feet. When he says blizzard, there is sunshine and chirping birds singing in unison with the cries of a thousand schoolchildren, homework incomplete in ritual prayer for a snow day.
Maybe synchronizing once a year with the ridiculous is God’s way of preventing these goofy, cocky-for-no-reason specimens of humanity from being lynched en masse. Or perhaps, as with the Dodo, we just expect them to do away with themselves.
Anyway, divine intervention or not, I awoke a week ago to my wife advising me on the latest sign of the apocalypse: “It’s going to be 80 next week, but today it’s snowing,” she said, as the heater grudgingly rumbled back on, convinced as I had been that the worst was over. I shook my head watching the large flakes fall and promptly forgot the rest of the prediction until the other morning when I stepped outside to get the paper and the world was all aflutter with tank tops and shorts, convertibles and sunglasses.
So this is what bears feel like coming out of hibernation, I thought, noting that I’d been wearing basically the same clothes for four days (I said basically), a period that now, pathetically, stretched across two distinct seasons.
With the sun shining warmly through the window for the first time in months, it is tough to be a curmudgeon searching for the latest outrage that allows polemicists to join in the daily Chorus of Indignation. (Tryouts are Wednesday nights, bring a piece by one of the two sanctioned political viewpoints and be prepared to sing it for life.) But I’m a professional, damn it, so I dig into the paper and start looking.
Maybe I should complain about non-Catholics whining about the new Pope? I muse. Why should they care who is issuing proclamations from Vatican City?
Not the most original impulse, I’ll admit, but it will probably land me on a couple of radio shows, or, if it’s steamy enough, television! The goalposts of success for the modern writer are in sight! Not to mention, everyone knows writers reach more people nowadays by talking rather than writing. Who has time to read these days anyway, aside from checking out the comments section of your own blog?p>The idea dies on the vine: Maybe I’ll let a Catholic (i.e. someone who knows what he’s talking about) defend the vote that brings the white smoke. Also, I don’t need various friends and family members br> staring at me with that Well, you’re the one who thought this was so great look while I’m sitting in purgatory. /p>
This decision to abandon the Pope story complicates things significantly, though, since the Boston Globe is hardly covering anything else — which is to say, something that has little to do with the 77 percent of the American population who are not Catholic. But I’m a professional, damn it, so I go online.
Once again, I am thwarted by the first story I encounter. It turns out the Journal of the American Medical Association has rethought that little thing about carrying 10 extra pounds or so around killing you faster than a heroin addiction. In fact, fatness has dropped five spots on the Centers for Disease Control Greatest Hits list, from number two to seven. So for the second time in a single day sitting back and I’m smiling instead of frowning and typing. On one hand, it will be hard to stay fat if I cannot find anything to be paid to write about, but, on the other hand, do you know how much a gym membership costs in the city? I might still come out even.
However, as I said, I am a professional. I do my Pillsbury Doughboy impression for a couple minutes, share a bag of microwave popcorn with my gerbils, and get back to seeking the aforementioned latest outrage.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?