What, you're complaining again about the weather? Wasn't it you who were objecting last August about the heat? And weren't you overheard to say only three weeks ago that it was unnaturally warm and hardly seemed like the holidays at all? Public opinion is powerful in these matters, and a large majority of the public felt that tradition and decency required lower temperatures. The Weather Board has responded in true democratic style. You wanted it colder, and you got it. Season's greetings.
Some people now feel that the Weather Board has overdone it. But that tends to be the American way. This country moves from one enthusiasm to another. That's part of its national charm. Is it possible for enthusiasm to go too far? The Weather Board, looking on the bright side, observes that no cases of heat prostration have recently been reported and hardly anyone is suffering from hay fever. But even the Weather Board, normally shameless on these occasions, is sounding a bit defensive.
One thing is certain: it was too cold for a parade. Calling off the Inaugural Parade was the first great presidential decision of Mr. Reagan's second term; may all of his successive decisions be as sensible and humane as that one. A few die-hards argue the contrary. You can find one of them, Ken Ringle, doing it on the opposite page today. He is a delightful fellow, although, of course, wrong. But if you yourself believe that the parade should have been held, you might take a seat on one of those bleachers along Pennsylvania Avenue and, at the end of 15 minutes, ask yourself whether another three hours there would be a lot of fun.
Some of the marchers will find the decision inexplicable. Alaska had sent three dog-sled teams, and they were ready to go. The Aberdeen, S.D., Central High School Acappella Choir will be gravely disappointed. They had financed the trip, according to the Inaugural Committee, by selling 3,000 pizzas and 2,000 bags of South Dakota popcorn. Yesterday was, by South Dakotan standards, normal spring weather, and the cancellation will only confirm their impression of the effete East. But there was also a band there from Carrollton, Ga., and another from the Comeaux High School in Lafayette, La., places where thermal underwear is not standard and band uniforms are not designed for Arctic duty.
While the temperature never fell far below zero yesterday, it never rose much above it -- and that wind was straight from the Yukon. Think of the drum majorettes, their knees turning purple. Think of the woodwinds -- have you ever tried to play a clarinet in mittens? Think of the woodwinds' mothers, themselves half-frozen in the stands. Have you no feelings, Ringle? President Reagan was right.