Brian Thompson: Cold weather and soothsayer acorns

Cold. So cold. Teeth chattering. Bones aching. Lips chapping. Dog not going outside unless I stand with the door open while screaming, “Be gone with you, wretched cur!!!” (My neighbors always pass by at the same, exact moment and report me to Animal Control.)

 

It’s not my fault: It’s winter, and my dog would prefer I put out a stack of newspapers and let her do her business inside. It’s cold out there, and she has no interest in braving it.

I don’t either. What is this chilly stuff? Is this not Florida, a state so immune to freezing weather that the snow shovel is listed as an endangered species?

The other day I had to go do the unthinkable: root around in my closet in search of — GASP! — a sweater. I didn’t even know I had one. It was moth-eaten and covered in dust — a relic from 1996 when I bought it as a joke, or to use as a rag while changing my car’s oil.

But after the cold snap we had this week, we Floridians could use a few sweaters. And some mittens and scarves and ear muffs … and about 17 batts of insulation to wrap around us with duct tape.

It was cold, and we don’t know how to hack it! I watched bleary-eyed at the weather map as a mass of light snow moved across north Florida toward Jacksonville. Ouch! Not a sight you see every day.

In the midst of it, I got a phone call from my mother reminding me she knew this was coming all along. “Didn’t I tell you?” she said when I picked up. “I told you the oak trees dropped so many acorns this year that it could only mean we’re going to have a cold winter! HA!!! I was right! And you said NASA predicted it was going to be mild. Well, tell your friends at NASA they should have checked the acorns!”

I HATE phone calls like this. First off, I don’t have any friends at NASA and shouldn’t be blamed when their predictions go wrong. Second, my mother also thought the abundance of acorns meant the stock market would crash and Alaska was going to peel off from the continent. So, she’s not exactly batting a thousand with this whole acorn thing.

And most importantly … WHO BUT MY MOTHER HAS TIME TO GO AROUND COUNTING ACORNS ANYWAY?!?

This was all lost on her: “Brian, I told you I haven’t seen this many since 1977 when we lived in Tampa and it snowed. So, there! Now, if you’ll excuse me I’m going to make sure that Little Joe and Missy Daisy are wearing their sweaters.”

Florida: The only state where cats wear sweaters during cold snaps, but the people used all of theirs for oil changes. Not to mention, where it’s dang-near impossible to get Amazon.com to ship a snow shovel this far south.

 

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