When I was a kid, I began to realize that something heinous was afoot regarding seasonal length. I was at school one winter day, firmly entrenched in either the first or second grade, I can’t remember which. It was 1983 or 1984 and we were being tasked with writing our names and the date on the top of a blank piece of paper before composing a story about how we spent our weekend. I wrote down ‘Author of Sarcasm’ next to ‘name’ and ‘2/28/83’ (or 84) next to ‘date.’ I was suddenly overcome with a feeling of unease. Something was amiss.
Why did February end, in most years, with only 28 days? I suddenly became confused and angry. I raised my hand, but my teacher ignored me. I then stood defiantly on my desk and immediately began barraging the teacher with questions about this. Caught off guard, she stared at me blankly before saying, “Please take your seat, Author of Sarcasm.” Undeterred, I demanded answers. “Why can’t that stupid July month have only 28 days?” I screamed. My teacher was either unable or unwilling to answer, nor was the principal as I sat in his office for lunch, sulking over my peanut butter and jelly sandwich and Little Debbie oatmeal crème pie.
Clearly, both the teacher and the principal were part of some vast conspiracy meant to keep inquisitive children from knowing what was truly going on.
I went home and immediately went to the Encyclopaedia Britannica (Google’s great-grandfather). What I found rocked me to my core. Most people can identify when the innocence they once reveled in was wiped away, washed out to sea by the tides of inevitability. For me, it was realizing that my favorite season lasted about 89 days. But the most hurtful revelation of that day? My arch enemy season, summer, lasted about 94 days.
Now I know what most of you are thinking. You didn’t actually go by the name Author of Sarcasm back then, did you? I totally did, but let’s try to stay on task. Some of you might also be wondering what kind of kid wouldn’t prefer summer being the longest season. After all, isn’t summer the season in which school is not in session? The simple answer would be for me to agree, but then the article would end here, and I am woefully short of my desired word count. Also, winter is the season that has the potential of being the most surprise-laden season of the four. For the completely obtuse out there, I’m referring to snow days.
Snow days. Say it with me. Snow days. It just rolls off the tongue with such simplicity, two words that are soul mates destined to spend eternity together. It’s basically the weather version of quarter-pounder with cheese.
There are some winters, like the one we are currently navigating, that don’t produce many snow days. Heck, even the threat of them this year is essentially nonexistent. But there is a chance, no matter how slight, that a storm will form and coordinate with GPS to find us. Presidential campaigns were run and won on hope. Hope propels us to great heights. Summer doesn’t have any such excitement. The only hope we have in summer is to be able to live through it.
In fact, each summer day is essentially the same as the one that came before it. It’s like a bunch of June 21’s every day until Sept. 1. Sure, we have vacations at crowded beaches, pools with blue chemicals and nearly naked neighbors to swim with, but those things lack a certain je ne sais quoi (French word meaning a pleasant quality that cannot be adequately expressed). Generally the air of summer is steamy, the sun is trying to kill us and it’s impossible to trick children into thinking it’s bedtime when it’s still light outside at 8:42 p.m.
We have about 28 days left of winter. We are in dire need of a snow day here in Montgomery County. No child should be forced to face at least one winter without a snow day, just like no kid back then should’ve been forced to rely on Little Debbie oatmeal crème pies to feel full.
Josh Lorenzo (a.k.a. AoS/Author of Sarcasm) is a longtime reader and active contributor to witty comments on the Capital Weather Gang blog. All opinions are his own — and make us smile.
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