Gird your loins with a bit of Under Armour and tuck in a Hot Hands pack. The forecasters have consulted the Oracle and it looks like those of us in the Mid-Atlantic may be in for a cold, snowy winter.
It’s tough to fault them for throwing something out there, no matter how hard they had to pitch it, poor darlings. Hundreds of thousands of media hours are currently devoted to the prediction of results – whether sports coverage, winter devastation or election waves – and no matter how wrong they may turn out to be, audiences continue to lap them up.
Thus the networks respond with more coverage, we grab another Coke and a bag of Doritos, and we all sit together in a heightened state of anticipation and blood sugar watching to see if the predictions play out.
Will Holtby save 35 or 37 shots on goal tonight? Will it be a cataclysmic blue wave or a gentle blue lapping? Will we have three feet of snow during our cruelest season of the year or will it be an inch and a light spanking? The Nation stands trembling.
Those of us who prefer to stand on the sidelines quietly humming Que Sera Sera and feeling superior about it, do, as it happens, have some sense of perspective born of detachment. When you don’t follow pre-[insert x] coverage, you look at those that do and wonder why they waste all that time worrying when they could simply tune in the next day and save everybody a lot of time.
Granted I do not follow pre-game coverage because I don’t give a damn about actual game coverage and do not wish to be forced into this new role of network hockey friend and widow for any longer than I have to. But I should care about the election and the weather, right?
The results, yes. The predictions, no.
Once I’ve voted, I cannot vote again (at least in Virginia). I try to keep the radio, cell phone and TV news off, and in twenty-four blissfully pundit-free hours I get to see how everyone else voted too and react accordingly. (I believe current protocol favors weeping in the town square or looking insufferably smug).
My vote doesn’t count in the meteorological arena. Nor can I petition a higher authority for a better winter based on the worrying predictions I may or may not have seen. Well I can, but I have very little chance of a higher authority putting those concerns above things like Middle East unrest and how much it costs to buy toilet paper in Venezuela.
Once winter begins, it has begun. Time to get down to the business of dealing with it. Why spend the sweet autumn months adding another level of anxiety to modern lives already characterized by anxiety?
No really. Ask yourselves that question.
Here are a few facts about winter. It’s coming. It’s not summer. We won’t be wearing shorts. I will have to heat my home, and depending on the severity of the season, that will either take more or less of my resources.
If I am a smart ant, I will prepare for a hard winter with six cords of wood in the bank and a full tank of oil. I will make sure my tires are sound and my generator is serviced. I will heel in the potted plants that need extra protection and make sure my Netflix queue is well stocked with movies that make me laugh when I want to start screaming at the sky.
In short, I will prepare for winter – any winter. Whether it’s 6 degrees above normal or 10 degrees below. Literally.
I am exceedingly thankful for the modern miracles that can alert us to an ice storm next Thursday or the possibility of snow over the weekend, but until there is a 80-90% chance that the winter in front of us will actually be the winter the long term forecasters predict (and I’m not talking about the 80% accuracy claims some of them continue to make against evidence to the contrary), I’d rather focus my attention on getting the barn roof ready for that long period of cold, ice and general ugliness that starts at this time of year and doesn’t let up until April.
What the forecasters say about what’s coming should not affect anything other than my sense of humor. In fact, I’m over 90% sure it won’t.