Friday, March 14, 2008

The Winter That Just Won't Quit (But Had Better, And Soon)

Looks like Wiarton Willie and Punxsatawney Phil were right this year. It's been six weeks since the famed rodent prognosticators forecast an extended winter, and damned if the mangy vermin weren't spot-on. Like everyone else in Canada, I'm ready for spring anytime it feels like gracing us with its presence. Now would be good, with the exception of the mountains of snow here in Ottawa just waiting to melt and simultaneously destroy both my basement and my roof.

Not only does one have way too much time on their hands when unemployed, add Seasonal Affective Disorder and you've got a recipe for depression that can only be salved by the sweet sounds of music and the imminent arrival of a season that is currently MIA.

So far we're pushing record amounts of snowfall here, and everyone's mood seems to be highly irritable with a supersized side of testy. Residential and secondary roads are essentially down to a single lane, yet no one seems to care enough to realize that you actually have to slow down to pass and avoid sideswiping the other guy on your way to wait in line to get your Roll Up The Rim cup from a listless, apathetic, incoherent, pimply-faced, tattooed and multiply-pierced Tim Hortons teen. (Side note: It's a sure sign of spring when the glaze in their sullen eyes is replaced by jumpy antipathy. You couldn't pay me enough to manage a ragtag group, sorry, "team" of these kids.)

One person here in Ottawa has decided to make the best of winter and build a record-breaking snow fence in his front yard that made it to the front pages of Digg, the smarmy geek-infested social news site. Kudos to this guy's creativity.

My energy level sinks like a stone when I even think about the amount of work involved in the upkeep of this thing. It's quite enough for me to blow, say, 52 cm of il neige out of the driveway like last Saturday; let alone pile and shape it on a daily basis into an imposing monolith that's like the photo negative version of the ones from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

No, better to think of the coming spring and the accompanying burst of energy (and mad cleaning) that will follow.

It'll get here on its own schedule and with any luck, my mind will still be in working order (albeit corroded and in need of a tuneup) when the first warm breeze blows through the narrow, sidewalk-impaired streets of Ottawa. Maybe it's true that you can't rush a good thing. One can only hope. Now off to Hortons for that coffee - oh, right, those saturnine kids... Never mind, I'll brew my own.