Cold enough for you?

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Tyrades! by Danny Tyree

I won’t hazard a guess as to whether it achieves immortality like “grassy knoll” or “hanging chads,” but surely the phrase “bomb cyclone storm” will remain in the public consciousness of those who endured its cruelties.

We’ll laugh about this someday, but right now an awful lot of Americans have a “single digit” they’d like to give right back to Mother Nature.

And we’re not exactly chummy with 2022, which on its way out is taunting us with, “Bet now you wish you had bought the extended warranty!”

Yes, I mourn for those who lost their lives due to the recent winter weather event (event as in “One… night… only! Well, two nights only! Would you believe three or four nights only? Tell a buddy, bring a flame thrower!”), but those of us who survived will be talking about dead automobile batteries, industrial-strength windshield de-icer, “rolling blackouts” and other inconveniences for a long time. Assuming our tongues aren’t still stuck to a lamppost in the summer of 2027.

I’m still waiting for the other snow-covered shoe to drop, but so far there has mercifully been only muted politicization of the blizzard (vis-a-vis climate change debates). Okay, I did overhear one social justice warrior protesting the term “once-in-a-generation phenomenon” because (duh) it’s offensive to mayflies.

I know meteorologists gave the citizenry several days’ notice of the potential hazards, but folks really should have been paying closer attention earlier in the year. For instance, when wooly worm caterpillars replaced their familiar dark bands with patterns of Four Horsemen. (Nice job of burying the lede, almanac editors!)

Catastrophes like this bring out our resourcefulness and teamwork, but they are also a grim reminder of human frailty and mortality. Granted, wearing layer upon layer upon layer of clothing makes us let our guard down concerning firearms-related mortality in particular. (“Is that all you got, punk? You sure that’s not an assault peashooter?”)

Canceled flights, curtailed bus routes and treacherous backroads caused many families to cancel, reschedule or scale back their celebrations. The weather conditions forced travelers to progress rather quickly from Plan B to Plan C. (“I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams – assuming I get any sleep with all the &^%$# snoring at the terminal!”)

Alas, even some of the intrepid souls who made it through the snow and slush to celebrate the holidays with their loved ones became disoriented upon arrival because of the absence of familiar landmarks. (Statistics are still being compiled on how many lawn gnomes declared, “Forget this! I’m MOVING to Nome!”)

Other frostbitten travelers got turned away at the front door, because they were mistaken for Blue Man Group. (“Now, if Cirque du Soleil had come knocking on the door, we’d have fetched them some eggnog, right, Ma?”)

Some families redoubled their efforts to spread joy and goodwill despite the blizzard, but others made a calculated decision to tick off their neighbors. (“Did you see the price of propane, honey? We need all the free flaming sacks of dog poop we can get!”)

I’m grateful that residents of the handful of states that escaped the direct impact of the winter storm have sent thoughts, prayers and good vibes our way.

They empathize because, while they dodged a bullet this time, they realize their time will come for wildfires, earthquakes, floods or …a hundred-year infestation of smart-aleck columnists!

Copyright 2022 Danny Tyree, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Danny Tyree welcomes email responses at [email protected] and visits to his Facebook fan page “Tyree’s Tyrades.”