Boy howdy we’ve had some beautiful weather lately. Temperatures in the 60’s the second week in January? The weatherman called it mild, but this time of year, I’d say it’s downright balmy. Normally at this point in the winter I’d be shoveling a mountain of snow from the base of my driveway and cursing the lord as loud as my breath allows. But this weekend I walked down to the pharmacy in short sleeves. Imagine that. I even saw my neighbor Ted outside in his sandals. I never thought that’d happen the week after New Year’s. It’s the season for ice-skating not windsurfing. I’m not going to lie, though. I’ve enjoyed the little heat wave we’ve got going. Even though it’s a sure sign that the global climate is changing for the worst, and it’s going to lead to humanity’s being driven off of the barren, inhospitable rock we once called home.
Call it global warming. Call it climate change. Fact is, you can’t have it both ways. Either we can play Frisbee in shorts and t-shirts in the dead of winter or we can have polar ice caps and glaciers and regular weather patterns. So enjoy flying your kites today. But save that spool of string. Your children’s children are going to need it to tie down their belongings when they’re being buffeted by hurricanes 12 months a year in their cramped Nebraska apartments once California and New Hampshire have been claimed by the angry rising seas.
I was thinking about having a good old-fashioned barbecue this weekend. In the middle of winter. Never thought I’d say those words. But why not? With weather this lovely, we should really spend more time outside. You know, while the planet is habitable and not an arid wasteland where the remaining human survivors wear armor made of aluminum foil and joust each other on bicycles for food. A hell on earth where a child born into the world is looked upon with jealousy because it will never know the way things had been in the time before the fall. Before all that happens, it’d be great to get everyone together for a cookout.
Now I know no one wants to hear doomsday predictions on a day like this. A perfect day for taking a walk down by the Kennebec River with your two dogs. The kids pushing each other on swings at the park. It’s like a Norman Rockwell painting or some such thing. When the weather’s reminding us just how good it feels to be alive, it doesn’t really seem like the time to bring up that if this continues, we’ll all be living in a world so overcrowded and disease-filled that we’ll beg for death and the laborers will have to get put on a robot suicide watch to keep production steady no matter how brutally their souls are being crushed.
It’s almost like telling a man that his souped up motorcycle is going to be the death of him as the wind whistles through his hair and his heart’s pumping adrenaline faster than it has since he was a kid. Maybe that just makes him want to ride that thing more. Push it closer and closer to the brink of disaster. It eggs him on and on, closer to the brink. DO YOU HEAR THAT, IRENE? IT EGGS A MAN ON TO SAY THOSE THINGS!
Sorry. I shouldn’t be so hard on my wife Irene. She knows I love her. And our time together might be coming to a close on account of her and my living on a planet that is on the verge of a man-made apocalypse, and who can tell whether we’ll be able to stay with one another once all the looting and chaos starts. Not to mention the afterlife. I’m a good man, but I’ve done some things I’m not proud of and hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if I didn’t make it all the way to heaven. Maybe I’m destined for judgment in purgatory, my soul just a floatin’ bauble in the jet stream of the eternal. Up there in the good place, why, Irene will probably never even have a second thought about me.
Well, anywho. Barbecue starts ‘round three. Feel free to bring your own beverages on over. Hope to see y’all there.