Hunter Johnson, Commentary Editor
During the blistering months of June to September, I typically don’t keep my opinions about the weather to myself. If it’s so humid and so hot that I’m bloody miserable, I won’t hesitate to let you know about it; it’s a part of the friendship package one receives when socializing with me. Anyway, it’s during such miserably hot conditions that I long for that chill of autumn and, yes, the biting cold of winter.
Of course, while I’m longing for the cold during the summer months, I’m thinking of the typical Mississippi/Texas winters: chilly for a while, with some really cold times thrown in, but generally not too cold for too long from November through early March. In other words, this ain’t Alaska; we can manage these winters.
Then, the winter of 2013/2014 happened. Polar vortex! Another polar vortex! A couple of other winter storms that the National Weather Service named like hurricanes!
Now, if you’re from the northern states and giggle at the plight of those who squirm at the frigid temperatures you’re used to back home, tell me this: Have you just been all fine and dandy with all the cold here? Really?
We had a week-long ice storm in early December — for which we only got one day out of school (Really people, what is safety when compared to a quality education?). There have been utterly freezing weeks with temperatures in the teens and hellacious winds to boot. Just this past week we got snow! I woke up early Thursday morning to do laundry. I threw the clothes in the washer and went back to my apartment, and when I stepped out again to put them in the dryer, I was greeted by a gust of snow right to the face! Talk about a rude awakening.
Although the snow we got was quite nice and made campus pretty for a change, most of the time we haven’t had snow to help us forget how cold it really is. And that cold, in case you’ve missed my point, has been cold. Winter has definitely come, and this Southerner feels as if he’s been dumped in the North with the Starks of Winterfell.
What’s made it worse, though, is that the Texas climate has to handle this weather like a crazy person. Four days of pretty cold, four days of bitter cold, then oh! A random day of beautifully warm weather and sunshine! “What’s this?” the random Dallasite asks. “I have skin under these layers? Geez, I can actually go for a run and not have snotcicles! This is just so nice — oh, wait, it just got freezing again. ’Nother polar vortex, I suppose.”
I’ve had it. I’m sick of it — literally. I am currently sitting in bed, hacking my lungs out, sick with a cold or whatever this ailment is. Given that I usually do not get sick, and that more people typically get sick the colder it is outside, I’m blaming winter for my predicament.
Unfortunately, there seems to be no end in sight for this frigidness. Weather forecasts do not fill me with much optimism; with the randomness of Texas weather, even slightly promising predictions for higher temperatures on the 10-day forecast cannot be trusted. Then, the ultimate blow: Punxsutawney Phil, whose holiday we celebrated with much fervor a couple of weekends ago, predicted another six weeks of winter when he peeked out of his little groundhog home.
Needless to say, I oft wonder what I might say to Al Gore were I ever to cross his path. This has been one of the coldest winters I can remember, and it’s been over a decade since he took to the speaking circuit to spread awareness of global warming. Of course, I’m sure he has some brilliant reasoning to explain the wintry madness that has enveloped Dallas and the country this year since he is, you know, a genius.
As for now, since I cannot quiz the former vice president in person, I’ll just embrace my sickness, forget about trying to sit up in bed and just lie down already. My head is throbbing, my throat is clogged and my body is drained of all energy. I just want to lie here and long for the humid, warm misery of Mississippi summers.