Commence With The Invasion Of Hoth! / photo copyright © 2008 sean dreilinger

February is just a few days from being dead now; the epic and annual battle against the winter blues is in its final throes for the season, and there is no shortage of casualties on the battlefield. Speaking of which, when measured against the sentence our military folks are serving in that hell-hole of a desert theatre, it seems more than a little trite to bitch about the weather. I can’t help but notice, though, that right now, it’s not just me. It seems like most people I know are one more cold and cloudy day closer to dragging scissors across their wrists as a method of mundane entertainment.

Complaining about the weather, or, for that matter, fundamentalist religious folks, in the buckle of the Bible Belt is akin to moving to Utah and decrying the abundance of Mormons. Chances are the weather and the spiritually engaged were in their respective locations when we decided to inhabit their locales. They were here first, and if you don’t like it, then why don’t you move back to communist Russia, you son of a…..wait, I got sidetracked there for a moment. Where were we? Oh yeah…

February. Brown and cold, like this stale cup of coffee in front of me. I tell anyone who’ll listen how much I prefer the cold of winter to the Vietnam-like summers we get in Missouri; you can always put on more clothes when it’s cold, but in August, when you’re chewing the air and making body-sweat soup, society will only let you get so naked before they call the cops. It’s a real bummer, I tell you.

Missouri is the Show-Me-State, which sounds deliciously perverse until you realize what that means is that they’re a skeptical lot, prone to demanding evidence before they’ll accept anything, aforementioned spiritual endeavors notwithstanding. But really, the name should be changed to the “I Want Something Else State” or the “Short Attention Span State”. Whatever weather is coming up we get all giddy about, be it the tornadoes of Spring or the 3 inches of snow that may, or may not, hit us whenever. Then, when it gets here, the local news goes predictably apeshit over a serious fog pattern and immediately we’re irritated by it. Facebook and other outlets for us get clogged up with declarations of righteous fury over the climate and our eager anticipation for the NEXT season. We’re worse than spoiled kids on Christmas morning.

I’ve decided to join this particular Complain Train this time, though. This time of year always reminds me of the freezer-burnt section of the fridge. The meat is of indeterminate origin, but it’s brown and cold and icy, and even the dog turns his nose up at the prospect. Like the natives around here, I’m anxious to see the lawn green up, enjoy the mating rituals of the firefly and spend our evenings cowering in the hallway while another tornado rumbles through. We’ll enjoy lazy floats on swollen rivers, cheap beer and impulsive flashing being our entertainment, all while complaining about the heat and anticipating the fall colors and football.

But no one is looking forward to February; of this I am sure.