Thursday, January 6, 2005

Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #42

Share your favorite story of Winter cold -- preferably (but not necessarily) involving something freezing inconveniently and humorously.

Extra credit: Name a song that reminds you of winter that's not Christmas-themed.

I lived in Chicago in 1967 during the snow storm that dumped 27 inches in 24 hours and nothing, I mean nothing, moved. Cars, buses and trucks were skewed across the roads like dead bodies at a massacre.

I was also living in Chicago during the winter of '78-'79 when the temperature never got above freezing for weeks and weeks, so the falling snow just kept piling higher and higher. The mountain of frozen slush at the end of my driveway was still over six feet in March.

Meanwhile, the temperatures often dropped to 25 below and the windchill factor was -85 degrees. 

And last night we got nine inches of snow.

Yeah, so.  Make me laugh!

Okay, maybe this will. One winter many years ago, when the city snow had lost its lustre and was starting to get grimy, two of my friends, Patrick and Tony, and I noticed that a brownstone in our Chicago neighborhood still had a pristine patch of snow on its 7 x 7 fenced front yard.  

The snow, about a foot deep, was so white it looked fresh. The three of us were walking back from dinner and we all stopped in our tracks at the same time in front of the yard. Looking at each other, we just knew we couldn't let that virginal snow melt untouched.  After a brief consultation we agreed on a plan.

By the way, no matter what Pat tells you, this was my idea.

So the little patch became our canvas.  Pat went back to his place and loaded up a paint sprayer with something green -- paint or food coloring. Tony and I went out and bought or scavenged as many plastic flowers as we could.  During the night we returned to the tiny yard and sprayed the entiresnow area green.  Top, sides, everything.

Then we planted an whole garden of plastic flowers.  Tulips, roses, daffodils, some purple thingys -- dozens and dozens of them.  The little patch was a veritable bouquet when the neighborhood awoke the next morning. 

And a source of amusement for the doorman at the Ambassador West hotel, the residents of the Playboy Mansion [the original one], and all the young professionals walking to the bus.

Thankfully our little nighttime caper made the afternoon papers in the society column rather than the police blotter.  Probably because we knew the folks who owned the brownstone and they figured it was a charming little prank, not something to besmirch our arrest free permanent records. All that stuff happened later.

WINTER TUNE: SEAL's first album reminds me of the winter of 1991. Every time I hear CRAZY I remember that winter in general and one person in particular. Ironically one of my daughters gave me a Best of Seal CD for Christmas this year with Crazy on it, not realizing the memories it would conjure up.









1 comment:

greyhoundloner03 said...

I see your life of crime began early, missy!!!