As I sit here, it is raining (and parts of where I am are flooding for the THIRD time in 6 months) and it is about 60 degrees. There was a little snow back in October, and then it has not been colder than the high thirties since then.
This is unheard of here in Cleveland. When I was growing up, I remember months and months of snow. And months of “booger-freezing cold”. For those of you who’ve never lived in the northern latitudes of North America, you have no idea what booger freezing cold is. It’s what happens when it gets so cold outside that, as soon as you go out, all of the moisture in your nostrils freezes instantly; causing a constricting, tickly, not entirely comfortable feeling in your nose. This phenomenon was a regular part of growing up here in Northern Ohio. And it is happening less and less.
We also have an interesting geographic and meteorological anomaly living here on the southern shore of Lake Erie. It’s called Lake Effect Snow. It’s what happens when Actic, Canadian air blows across the warmer Lake Erie water. This produces snow. Lots and lots of snow. Ungodly amounts of snow. A few miles in from the lakeshore, about where my house is, this combination of meteorological confluences dumps snow on an area known, oddly enough, as the Snow Belt. It is much worse south of me,in a small village called Chardon, and the surrounding areas of Geauga County.
They have been known to get snowfalls that can be measured in the tens of feet range. As in 10+ feet of snow with a good storm.
The thing is, Geauga County is weird in that the people that live there are one of three things. 1)Affluent business people who commute into Cleveland and live in $500k plus houses. They live in Chardon for the ‘provincial, bucolic charm’ of living on the edge of ‘the country’. It’s them, or 2) The Amish. Ohio has the largest Amish community outside of Pennsylvania, and they all live in the snowbelt. I personally don’t mind the Amish, except when I’m in a hurry and they are in their buggies going 15 fucking miles an hour down a 60 mph state highway. Well, that and their funny beards.
And that leads us to the third denizen of greater Geauga County. They would be the dumb rednecks who’ve been in Geauga County for generations. They really don’t farm or anything, but they all have pickup trucks with stickers that say such enlightened, nonstereotypical things as “Git ‘R Done!!!”, or “Ain’t Skeered”, or the ever popular one of Calvin peeing on the logo of whatever brand of truck they’re NOT driving.
And here is what I lament most about Global Warming. It was these same rednecks who would, when I was growing up, park their trucks when the snow got too deep and pull out the handy-dandy snowmobile to get around. There’s nothing more heartwarming than to drive past a bar on a Friday or Saturday night along US Route 6 in Geauga County and see twenty or thirty snowmobiles lined up in the parking lot.
Then, every year, one of these dumb and hopelessly shitfaced rednecks would be cruising home a bit too fast after last call and invariable find a wire across someone’s driveway.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the true tragedy of global warming. No more decapitated rednecks, because it’s 60 goddamned degrees in January in the Northern Great Lakes.
“‘Cause decapitation, that’s funny – I don’t care who you are…”