Yesterday, December 22nd, was the winter solstice, and thus the first day of winter. For our readers in southern California and coastal Florida, winter is a season of the year in which temperatures are extremely cold and there is often snowfall. You may not be too familiar with it, since you’re all raging assnuggets and the rest of the nation hates you. Anyway, winter in the Chicagoland area is especially atrocious, so – seeing as we’re lucky enough to spend our winters there – I’ve compiled a brief elaboration on the trials and tribulations of winter in Chicago.
Snow – Okay, we all love the first snowfall. Why wouldn’t we? It’s fun and everyone has their own traditions. I, for one, make an attempt every year to write the first stanza of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” in the snow with urine (I’ve never made it past “dreary”). Ultimately, however, snow is like an emotionally vulnerable prostitute – it’s great until you realize it’ll never go away. Thanks to Chicago’s two to three month streak of below freezing temperatures, the snow never melts. It just stays there. Like a fucking douche.
Imminence of Another Cubs’ Season – After winter comes spring, and with spring comes baseball season. For many, this is cause for jubilation, but for the resilient residents of Chicagoland (many of whom are Cubs fans), it means nothing more than another six months of unmitigated despair and self-loathing. Yes, the spring weather might begin to hover up into the 70s and 80s (it also might not), but there’s no way in hell you’re going to haul your ass over to Wrigley Field to see your team lose to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Okay, maybe not the Pittsburgh Pirates, but any other team. The point stands: the inevitable heinousness of the Chicago Cubs ruins spring for everyone.
Obligatory Alcoholism – There are certain problems that have a very limited scope of solutions. The bitter lakeside cold is, without doubt, one of those problems, and the only real solution is a three-pronged attack – staying indoors, dressing in layers, and drowning your sorrows in the cheapest, grimiest vodka available. Now, I hate alcoholism as much as the next guy (despite its hand in the auspicious death of Joseph McCarthy), but when the number of degrees outside repeatedly fails to exceed the number of well-written Nickelback songs, the resulting pent-up aggression needs an outlet, and sadly, that outlet tends to be the liver. It’s not like I want to get inappropriately intoxicated three times a week, it’s just a necessity. If I die early, I fully intend on shifting the blame toward the Chicago climate.
Genital Hibernation – A few weeks ago, I drew up a list titled “Things I Don’t Want Inside of my Body.” Saddled between #6 (George Takei) and #8 (a petrushka doll), you’ll find #7: The entirety of my junk. There is literally nothing more uncomfortable than genital hibernation – and that’s coming from a guy who watched “Superbad” with his parents. If you’ll kindly pretend for a moment that the theory of creationism is even remotely plausible, consider this: If Adam and Eve had lived in a place like Chicago during the winter, Adam’s primitive package would’ve retracted so far that he would’ve had to wait until May or June before figuring out how to populate this fucked up planet. With all this in mind, I’d like to add that skinny-dipping on the reg doesn’t alleviate the situation an awful lot.
The Lamentable Improbability of Snowpocalypse Part 2 – Last February, the gods of the Chicago climate (who, might I mention, outdo even the Greek gods in their levels of crude and dickish practical jokes) threw us a bone by granting us “Snowpocalypse.” Snowpocalypse was a badass blizzard that froze much of Lake Michigan, forced people to abandon their cars on Lake Shore Drive, and left over two feet of snow on the ground in the metro area.
And yes, I do realize that I just went on a brief tirade about how much I hate snow, but once the amount of snowfall reaches the optimal level, the benefits outweigh the costs. (Good god, when did this become an example from a Macroeconomics textbook?) In the aftermath of Snowpocalypse, classes were cancelled at Northwestern for the first time since the Pax Romana, copious amounts of snowball fighting transpired, and dumbasses like me were granted the opportunity to walk on Lake Michigan and power-trip about it. Unfortunately, this magnitude of a storm doesn’t grace the Windy City every year, and the likelihood of it happening again is minimal. It looks like we’ll just be stuck with the run-of-the-mill clinical depression this winter. Happy holidays.