JIM CREES: On Winter — Enough is enough

Hamlet: “The air bites shrewdly. It is very cold.”

Horatio: “It is a nipping and an eager air.”

— William Shakespeare

It’s obvious England’s greatest playwright didn’t pen those lines under anything even resembling recent conditions in west-central Michigan.

At least not over the past few days.

We’ve graduated well past the “nipping and an eager air” stage and I can understand why so many of our local retirees head south.

I admit it, I’ve decided I don’t much appreciate the weather we’ve been having. Even with the relatively mild start to this winter, enough is now enough. It is too cold to be enjoyed.

I’m ready to take an editorial stand against the weather, and I expect results.

Truth be known, if it wasn’t so blasted uncomfortable getting around, I’d probably wax poetic in describing the meteorological events of the past few days.

The great, classical writers of the Victorian age loved winter’s gray grimness since it matched the brooding quality of that period.

Of course they never had to perform “doughnuts” while whizzing down McKinley Road in my early morning commute after an all-night accumulation of whipping snow and freezing rain.

They sat by small gas fires pondering the Greater Meaning of it all.

“Jovial wind of winter. Turn us out to play!”

— Charles Kingsley

Come on Chuck!

What jovial wind? What play? Rather it’s a biting, bitter wind keeping us buried indoors all day long. Who in their right mind is out frittering through fields and romping over hill and dale in this weather?

In recent telephone conversations with friends and family in the Holy Land, I learned that its getting pretty cold over there too. Some of my erstwhile colleagues have actually had to switch from open sandals to regular shoes. My ex-publisher complained about actually having to wear a jacket to work.

They think it must be exciting to be going through this kind of freeze.

Exciting? Well, that’s not quite the word I would have chosen.

They think I must really enjoy plowing my driveway again, ... and again, ... and again.

I remember well the winters of my youth in Michigan. Still, nostalgic memories of sledding and winter hayrides bundled under piles of warm straw with early girlfriends does little to warm the blood of this apparently aging editor.

Yes! I will take a stand for the many cold, shivering denizens of Mecosta and neighboring counties.

We have had enough, and will not stand for anymore!

We don’t mind the snow and slush. Indeed, we except it as our lot in life having chosen to live in this part of the world.

But it is simply too cold. We think it’s time to review our contract.

Where is it written that my mustache and beard have to crinkle when I talk after freezing on my face?

People keep promising me things will warm up. I’m a pretty believing guy by nature. I’m afraid, however, that if the weather doesn’t start improving soon, I’ll have to consider that people around here are pulling my leg.

And quite frankly, I’m getting tired of it.

It’s just too cold outside, and I hope the powers that be understand I am willing to bring all the influence I have to bare in remedying the problem.

I believe writers must take a stand.

I am doing so.

I demand a thaw, I demand that temperatures start an upward climb to the region of reasonability.

I demand.

Oh well. Sigh.