I would like to congratulate everyone who is reading this, because if you are reading this right now, that means that you are alive. If you are not reading this right now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are dead. You could be reading something else or nothing at all. Either way you’re dead to me. But you may be thinking: “Dylan, what are you talking about? Of course we’re alive! What’s all this about?” Well my friends, it’s that kind of humble bravery that makes you so special. You don’t have to hide it anymore. Ladies and gentlemen, you are survivors! You survived the last day of November, 2008. You survived Milwaukee’s 2008 Blizzard-ish Winter Weather Snow Event! We all did! And however you survived, it’s that kind of plucky, human ingenuity that has kept us at the top of the food chain and showing Nature who’s boss for a million years…or 5700 years…or 2000 years…depending on the calendar you follow.
And the weather wasn’t always out to get us. Back when we were kids, the weather just was. Sometimes it made us wet, sometimes it made us warm, sometimes it made us cold and sometimes it gave us a day off of school. It wasn’t until science gave us the technology to forecast the weather that we learned what a bastard the weather truly is. And today, thankfully, we can forecast the weather accurately and beyond a shadow of a doubt.
But we just need to look at history to know how mean weather can be. Remember Noah? Well, he didn’t build that ark for fun. Sure he liked to build arks in bottles, but that’s probably why God chose him. God appeared to Noah and said: “Noah, I’m going to destroy everything with a flood and I want you to build an ark.”
“You want me to build someone who rats out his friends?” Noah replied.
“You want me to build a NARC?”
“No! For My sake, an ark. It’s a boat.”
“Are you going to kill me then?”
“If you’re going to destroy Mankind, I’m a man. Are you planning to destroy me?”
“No, Noah, I’ll need you to repopulate the Earth. You and your lovely wife…what’s her name?”
“I’m not sure, Genesis doesn’t mention it.”
“Yeah, Genesis 7-7 says that I have one, but that’s where it stops.”
“How about your sons?”
“Oh they have names: Shem, Ham and Jafeth.”
“Really. Noah, you realize that you’re Jewish right?”
“You’re Jewish and you named one of your sons Ham?”
“Never mind. So I need you to build an ark.”
“I assume you’ll want the underbody rust-proofing.”
“With a flood and all, you’re gonna want that rust-proofing.”
“Okay…well I don’t want to spend a lot of money.”
“It’s only an additional $1000.”
“I don’t know.”
“Tell you what, let me go talk to my manager. Help yourself to some coffee. I’ll be right back.”
That’s exactly how it went, by the way.
And that was the first time that the weather attempted to destroy us, but as we saw on November 30th, 2008, it was not the last. Gone are the days when God would appear and warn us of our impending doom. Today, God has been replaced by our local news. It is They who keeps us “safe from the storm,” using colorful maps and radars with names like Viper. When the Viper Radar isn’t tempting Eve with the fruit of knowledge, it’s issuing severe weather warnings for our Gardens. Every ten minutes a Local Celebrity appears on our televsion and calmly tracks the Apocolypse. How can they be so glib and light? I’ll tell you how; because in the basement of every local news studio, there’s a bunker filled with tooth whitener, hair gel and M-1 Light Bronze make-up foundation which is all a newscaster needs to survive until spring.
Which gave me an idea. I’m a husband now, and my first priority is to protect my family. So with what was possibly my last two hours on Earth, I was determined to fight. I would not go gentle into that good night. What do you do when Hell is raining down from Heaven? You dig. I decided to build a safe room shelter in my basement. I ventured out into the wilderness where, surrounded by panicked citizens, I attempted to keep my wits.
The sky hung heavy over South-Eastern Wisconsin like the swollen udder of a Devil Cow. I collected the necessary materials and began building my personal ark. Afterwards, I stocked it with food. Soon the walls were lined with frozen pizzas, taco dip and tortilla chips and carton after carton of malted milk balls. When the time was right, my wife gathered the kids and we entered the safe room. I know what you’re thinking: “But you don’t have kids.” While this is technically true, I’ve found that a weather drama is always more compelling when kids are involved. So, we collected the fictional kids and entered the safe room shelter.
Minutes turned into hours and hours turned into days, because that’s how we measure time. At about the seventh hour of our ordeal, the food ran out, and, while I’m not proud of this, my wife and I were forced to do the unthinkable. Like the Donner Party and the soccer team from the movie Alive!, we had no choice but to resort to cannibalism. Sure, the storm hadn’t started yet, but in the heat of the moment, sometimes there’s no such thing as the wrong choice or the right choice. Sometimes there is only The Selfish Choice. They were fictional kids anyway. And my friends, God forbid you should ever be placed in that horrific situation, but if you are, learn from our suffering; make sure that you’ve stocked your safe room shelter with spicy mustard. It brings out the flavor so much better than the plain yellow.
But just like the Biblical flood, eventually the skies parted and the dove returned with an olive branch. Still full from our previous meal, we decided to let him live. And here I am, writing to you today. Like the Greatest Generation, we now are members of a very exclusive fraternity. We survived Milwaukee’s 2008 Blizzard-ish Winter Weather Snow Event. And let us never take this sweet life for granted.