Wednesday, December 9, 2020

A Chat with Old Man Winter

 The other day I called my friend Mickey, but I must’ve dialed the wrong number. When the phone was answered, I heard a low, gruff voice say, “Yeah, wattaya want?”

“Mickey?” I said, “It doesn’t sound like you.”

“Ain’t no one here by dat name,” came the angry reply. “This is Old Man Winter. You musta dialed da wrong number, bozo.”

“Oh, sorry,” I said. “Um, did you say you’re Old Man Winter?”
“Yeah, what’s it to ya?”

“Well, I’m sorry I dialed your number by mistake,” I said. “But, uh, do you mean you’re the SEASON of winter?”

“Yep, I’m da season. I decide who gets blizzards, who gets sub-zero temperatures, and who gets three straight weeks of cloudy skies.”

“Wow. Is there any reason you talk with a Brooklyn accent?”

“Shaddup, pal! I’ll talk however I wanna.”

“No offense intended, sir. It’s just that you kind of sound like Fred Flintstone doing an impression of Bugs Bunny after smoking a carton of cigarettes.”

“Tanks, bud. I been working on talkin’ wit a bit more class.”

“Um, right. Anyway, since you’re in charge of the weather, I was just wondering if maybe you could give us a mild winter this season. I don’t know if you follow the news much, but we’re going through this pandemic thing, and it’s been very stressful, and —”

“Stressful?! Ha! You ain’t seen nothing, pal! Yeah, I been following da news. Me an’ da boys been playing tiny violins for you whiny wimps.”

“The boys? Who do you mean?”

“My relatives. Ya know, there’s my cousin, Tropical Storm. He’s been cranking ‘em out like crazy dis year. And there’s my uncle, Wild Fire. He is en fuego, baby! Literally! Dis year he scorched more acres than ev-uh!”
“Those are your relatives? Hmm, they were rather busy this year. But getting back to my request, Mr. Winter. You see, 2020 has been such an ordeal, and the last thing we need is a cold, harsh, snowy winter.”

“Heh, heh, the last ting you need is gonna be the first ting you get!”

“No, please don’t say that! Because of the quarantine, a lot of us developed cabin fever — during the summer! If we get stuck in the house all winter, people will have meltdowns!”

“Hey, trust me, pal, no one’s gonna melt. Not wit daytime highs of 2 degrees!”

“But don’t you understand? Many people lost their jobs because of the pandemic. It will be hard for them to heat their homes if the weather is bitter cold.”

“Bitter cold! Yeah, dat’s my favorite! And dat’s exactly what I got planned for Round One. Drop it below zero for about nine days in a row, and then when all your pipes freeze, bam! Round Two!”

“What’s Round Two?”

“Well, let’s put it dis way, pal. Can your snowblower handle 24 inches? Every five days? For a whole month?! Oh yeah, baby, you’re gonna think you moved to Buffalo!”
“Oh, Mr. Winter, you can’t be serious! Isn’t there anything we can do to avoid such a cold and snowy season this year?”

“Yeah, there might be one ting. You’re gonna need a lot of hot air to counteract the cold air I’ll be sendin’ your way.”

“Hot air? Um, well, the election finally is over, and we have a few zillion politicians and cable news personalities who don’t have as much to talk about now. How about we have them all lean out their office windows and start flapping their yaps as much as they’ve been doing the past 12 months?”

“If yooze guys do dat, kid, lemme put it dis way: palm trees in Vermont!”

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