The Midwest has all but shut down amid subzero temperatures, howling winds and snow.
Transportation has slowed, mail in certain areas has come to a complete halt, and residents are being urged to remain indoors and ride out the polar vortex that has thrust the region into a deep freeze.
Meanwhile, school officials in snowed-in states are announcing closures . . . through song.
In Michigan, Swartz Creek Community Schools Superintendent Ben Mainka and high school Principal Jim Kitchen launched into a modified rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”
“I heard about a winter storm. It’s cold and dreary — stay home, stay warm,” Mainka sang in the video, posted Monday.
He then harmonized with Kitchen: “It’s a snow day, a winter cold day. Stay home and just play. It’s a greaaaat family day.”
Students were undoubtedly happy to hear the news, but the musical duo also received applause from the governor.
Matt Olson, superintendent of Benzie County Central Schools, made his announcement from the snow in Benzonia, Mich., opting for the smooth melodies of Billy Joel’s “The Longest Time.”
“We’ve been out of school for much too long. Pressure’s on for me to sing a song. What else could I do? You’ve all inspired me to. We haven’t had school for the longest time,” he sang, dancing and proclaiming that he was succumbing to the peer pressure for a snow day music video.
Then this happened.
Superintendent Tim Truesdale of J. Sterling Morton High School District 201 in Cicero, Ill., did his own Daft Punk impersonation.
“Don’t come tomorrow — we’re closed. If you value your fingers and nose. Stay home and drink some cocoa. School’s closed tomorrow. You’re lucky,” Truesdale sang to the tune of the hit “Get Lucky.” “Do homework if you have some. Snapchat your friends with your thumbs. Go play Fortnite 'cause it’s fun. School’s closed tomorrow. You’re lucky.”
But school administrators weren’t the only ones attempting to lighten the mood. Local police departments also got in on the jokes.
The Warrensburg Police Department in Missouri posted a Facebook message Monday asking those with a criminal mind for help.
“So . . . we are asking a favor (at least for the next three days),” it read. “Can you keep the criminalling to a minimum? It is REALLY cold out . . . do yourself (and us) a favor . . . stay inside. Be nice to each other, watch reruns of Say Yes to the Dress (we hear from the fire fighters that it’s a really good show). Mmmmkay, thanks!”
And the McLean Police Department in Illinois got serious about cracking down on crime, announcing in a Facebook post that authorities there had arrested Elsa from “Frozen.”
“ATTENTION,” the message read. “Due to the EXTREME COLD weather, all criminal activity and acts of stupidity and foolishness has been cancelled. Even Elsa has been placed under arrest with NO BOND until further notice. Thank you for your attention and understanding to this matter. Respectfully, the McLean Police Dept.”
It didn’t stop some from laughing.
“I showed my daughter,” one person wrote online, “and she’s been crying for a half hour now. Lol.”