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By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016
Moncton Times & Transcript
I’m going to whisper this really low so that Mother Nature doesn’t hear me. Put your ear right up to the newspaper because it’s going to be barely audible. “I think we’ve been having a pretty good winter so far.”
Now, if you all keep what I just said confidential and don’t start repeating it, we may just get away with it.
I hesitate to even breathe a word, because actually acknowledging that the winter hasn’t been so bad is like bragging in April that you made it through the entire winter without getting a cold. You know the drill. It happens to everyone. Within 24 hours of actually saying it out loud, your family is picking out a casket at the funeral home. ‘He was fine until he bragged about not having a cold all winter, then his head exploded. The coroner said it was the most violent sudden onset of the common cold he’d ever seen.’
Now, perhaps Mother Nature’s alarm clock didn’t go off and she’s still snug-as-a-bug in bed – or maybe her alarm did go off but isn’t loud enough to be heard through the din of her sleep apnea machine. Or maybe she and Jack Frost are having a torrid affair and are spending all day in bed these days. I don’t know, and I don’t care. I’m just happy that the snow isn’t over my garage roof like it was last year.
I know it’s a bit early to be starting to think that spring will come early. We do it every year – and then kaboom – we’re hit by wave after wave of blizzards so intense that penguins here on vacation decide to apply for citizenship.
I’m not sure what to do about his situation because – as the winter progresses – more and more people are whispering those ominous words which surely mean we’ll be getting snow right into May: ‘Pretty good winter so far, eh? Hardly any snow.’
Shhhhhh! Don’t wake her up! Turn up that nature CD in her bedroom playing the sound of swirling wind and the beep-beep-beep of plows backing up. That will surely make Mother Nature think she’s awake instead of just dreaming while we walk around outside while wearing sneakers in February.
Every year, I warn myself not to get too hopeful that spring is early. Everyone else does it, too. Then a bad storm arrives late and people are fit to be tied. At some point, I just refuse to shovel. If you won’t play her game, Mother Nature eventually gives up – well at least that’s my theory.
Funny, eh? I keep thinking about the common cold analogy. I’ve seen so many people on Facebook mention that very thing this year. ‘As soon as I told someone I hadn’t had a cold yet this year, I got one… a bad one!’ So, for the record, I’ve had 2,483 colds since November. I’m good until next year. May God strike me dead if I’m lying!
Oh my! That lightning bolt sure was close.
Sometimes, I almost wish it would have been a regular winter – one with a reasonable amount of snow. At least we’d know then that there was likely nothing coming down the pipe other than better weather. We’d all be used to it being snowy and stormy and cold.
Heck, right now, I’ve barely worn my winter boots and can walk from outside to the inside and keep my shoes on in the house because the soles are not even wet – just like summer! It’s not a big thing, but it’s kind of nice not to be constantly going from boots to shoes to slippers, etc., because it’s always snowing.
Maybe we’re just having a nice, mild winter with relatively little snow. Is that so bad? Heaven knows we paid for it last year with blizzardmaggedon. That legendary storm in late March last year was so bad that my poor little dog’s paws were barely touching the ground in the wind when I brought her outside. She didn’t dawdle around sniffing around outside much that day, let me tell you. All business, no pleasure!
Don’t we deserve pretty things, folks? I think we do. Perhaps – just perhaps – this winter will be kind to us. Maybe we’re in for a bit of a break after last year’s constant dumping of white stuff. Yes, there is hope! Spring is here early! I believe! I believe!
Now, if someone would turn up the volume on the Mother Nature’s blizzard sounds CD and hire a barbershop quartet to sing her some soothing lullabies, maybe it will stay that way.
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016
Moncton Times & Transcript
For at least the fourth time in recent memory on Sunday, my doorbell rang late at night (after 9:30 p.m. is ‘late’ in my books), only for me to find a map-challenged delivery person carrying a take-out order for the same-numbered house one street over. The first three times, I was more or less understanding. This time, I kind of lost it.
In this day and age with GPS, printed maps, smartphones and a bit of careful planning, there’s no need for delivery people to be constantly showing up at the wrong address. A couple of times… hey, things happen. But four times?
Needless to say, the guy who rang the doorbell at 9:30 p.m. did not receive a kind reception. First of all, if someone is ringing my doorbell late at night, I expect to open the door and find one of three things. 1) The Grim Reaper standing there telling me that my time is up; 2) Someone who crashed their car in front of my house holding their head in their arms and wondering if I wouldn’t mind sewing it back on to their neck; or 3) People from the lottery with a giant cheque for me just for being an awesome person.
The people who live at the same-numbered house not far me on another street obviously love their take-out food. Nothing wrong with that. I just wish the delivery people would be more careful. There are street signs. There are maps. Our street names aren’t even close to sounding alike, which is different from the other streets in the neighbourhood.
The people who developed my area back in the 1950s thought it would be hilarious to name all the streets with similar names to confuse everyone. To add to the confusion, my own street changes names right in the middle of it just to really mix people up.
Unfortunately, the time has come to exercise a bit of tough love. After four times, it’s time to take decisive action. There are a variety of ways I can ensure that this doesn’t happen again. Let’s go through my choices.
Find the biggest knife in the kitchen, cover it in ketchup and show up at the door wild-eyed and pretending to be out of breath. ‘What is it? I’m really busy right now!’ Delivery guy drops the food, runs for his life and I get free supper. Note to self: don’t use up all the ketchup in the house in case the food he drops needs some.
Pretend I recognize him as my (fictional) long-lost biological father. ‘Daddy! Oh my goodness! Daddy! I’ve been looking for you forever!’ Then, I’d get hysterical and start bawling my eyes out. ‘Dude, I’m not your father,’ he’d say. ‘You’re, like, 20 years older than me!’ That’s when I’d ratchet things up a notch, turn him around and ask him to give me a piggyback ride around the neighbourhood. After determining that attempting to give this crazy big guy (me!) a piggyback ride would pretty much wreck his back and knees forever, he drops the food and runs. Free supper… I win again.
Or perhaps I could invite him inside while I pretend to look for my money. I’d look around for a bit, then start talking to him about some crazy religion I’d make up on the spot – one where the only admittance into the afterlife is to sacrifice a delivery person to our god, Harold the Aardvark. And… free supper.
If none of that works, though, and the wayward delivery people keep showing up at my door by mistake, I’ll be forced to play really dirty. Cover your eyes, folks, this won’t be pretty. In fact, don’t even keep reading if you have a weak constitution or are particularly sensitive. Yup, I’m talking all-out nudity. Doorbell rings. I see the tell-tale vehicle idling in the driveway, telling me that yet another delivery for one-street-over has made it to my house in error.
Strip, smear on some gaudy red lipstick, put on some high-heeled slippers with pom-poms on the front, throw on a see-through nightie and answer the door. This, my friends, is the equivalent of a nuclear weapon for situations like this. Of course, I’d have a fire extinguisher handy for when his eyeballs inevitably explode in flames. I mean, a person needs to be safety conscious. Anything else would be unprofessional.
Let’s hope that it never has to come this, though. So, delivery people, this is a warning to all of you! Show up at my house one more time and I’m going to start playing dirty – with apologies in advance to your eyeballs.