Friday, February 17, 2006

Land of the Wendigo

So, I leave in a few hours to go to Chicago to get the expedition rack for my Jeep, The Blue Zombie. Here’s what it looks like. Pretty cool, huh? My buddy Phil and I wil be heading out and, hopefully, we’ll be in Chicago by 7am or so. I did just check and it looks like we’re driving into some ungodly cold weather. There are windchill warnings for the area that we’re driving through. The estimated temperature will be 0 to -10 degrees. Add a brisk NW wind, and they’re saying 30 to 40 below zero. Brrrr…. It reminds me of a trip Mrs. Zombie and I took to be in my college roommate, Aron’s, wedding. He’s actually a real doctor with a private practice in Endocrinology and Internal Medicine (as opposed to Doctor Zombie’s PH.D. in Evil Studies, World Domination, and Dark Grimoires). At the time Aron was doing his residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN and he met a sweet, beautiful girl from the local area. Their wedding was the week before Christmas. Now, to preface this, I’m from Cleveland. We know a little something about cold up here on the shores of Lake Erie. It’s not uncommon for us to have temperatures in the teens and twenties for months on end. On top of that, I live in what’s known as the “Snow Belt”. That’s a band across the northern part of Ohio where, because of a phenomenon known as Lake Effect Snow, we get dumped with upwards of a foot or two of snow on a pretty frequent basis. So, imagine months of bitter cold, with feet and feet of snow, and you get an idea of what winter in Ohio is like. Bearing that in mind, I cannot begin to express how fucking cold Minnesota is. I had thought the term ‘bone chilling cold’ was a figure of speech; not so in Minnesota. They mean it. It’s unworldy cold. It’s numbingly, mind shatteringly cold there. I’d never really experienced -30 degrees before windchill in my life, and I have no desire to ever do so again. I mean it’s unbelievable how much the cold plays a part in the average Minnesotans life. Downtown Rochester, where we stayed, actually becomes completely underground in the winter. Seriously, all of the buildings are connected by subterranean walkways. Between the buildings in these CHUD-like tunnels, there are shops, and restaurants. One need never go outside in winter. Kinda cool, but also kinda creepy. People weren’t meant to live in that kind of cold. One cool thing Aron showed me… we went to Starbucks, where he and Mrs. Zombie got coffee and I got my usual herbal tea. Aron got an extra cup of hot water, and if you’ve ever impatiently slurped on your Starbucks coffee or tea before letting it cool, you know how much that experience can be likened to swilling hot magma. Anyway, we stepped outside into the frigid, arctic air of the parking lot and Aron took the lid off of the hot water. He then threw the hot water into the air. Before the boiling water reached the top of its parabola, it turned into snow and fell back to earth, floating and twirling about us. Seriously. It was really cool (literally and figuratively). That, I think, is the best demonstration of how f’in cold it can get in the northern Midwest. That trip was also the first time I’d ever seen Aurora Borealis. Groovy.

Beyond the cold, my only concern about this is my usual concern whenever I go out of town. What if the zombie apocalypse happens? What if the US is invaded ala Red Dawn by millions of angry, murderous Muslims or Chinese? What if there’s a natural catastrophe like Hurricane Katrina or another 9/11 type attack. I don’t relish the idea of Mrs Zombie and the little zombies, home alone, having to stand against the ravening hordes of whatever. I also don’t look forward to the bloody, horrific swath of bodies I’ll have to leave between Chicago and Cleveland as I fight my way back home to them. That’s normal, right?

Anyway, I will write again next week and update you on the inevitable adventures Phil and the good Doctor will undoubtedly encounter on our roadtrip. Until then, unpleasant dreams…

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