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Winter, be gone!

Posted: March 6, 2014 2:34 p.m.
Updated: March 7, 2014 5:00 a.m.

Everyone who’s sick of winter, raise your hands.

I thought so.

Just after we got a little taste of spring, Old Man Winter slapped us again this week, with cold temperatures, rain and a miserable, please-let-this-be-over jab.

That’s not unusual. The first two weeks of March often bring the last vestiges of winter here in South Carolina, but it’s been especially frustrating this year, given the unusually cold temperatures that have hovered like a dreary psychological fog over this area.

We’re here in the Sunbelt. Pity those poor souls in Minnesota and Wisconsin and Vermont, who must be going bonkers by now.

Of course, they’re used to it. My friends in Maine, where Wife Nancy and I spend time, laugh at me for fleeing when the snow starts to fly in late October. Heck, they’re still walking around in shirtsleeves that time of year.

When we start shivering in sub-20s readings here in South Carolina, just consider: the lowest temperature ever recorded was in 1983 in Vostok, Antarctica -- a bone-shattering 128 degrees below zero.

I read earlier this week that the Great Lakes are nearly 95 percent covered with ice, the most extensive frozen icecap there in 34 years.

The high temperature in Chicago on one recent day was -9, the lowest high in history. And in Minnesota, school was cancelled for the first time in 17 years.

In New Hampshire, 12-year-old Maddie Gilmartin decided to see what would happen if she stuck her tongue to a flag pole. She remained there, tongue frozen to pole, for about 15 minutes till her parents freed her by using warm water.

She claimed she’d never seen “A Christmas Story,” which features a similar incident.

And in portions of the Midwest and New England, they’ve gone through week after week of the temperature not rising above freezing. Even Al Gore’s complaining about the cold.

It doesn’t help that we’re in the season of long nights and short days, and psychologists see a link between cold, long nights and depression. In Norway, where it’s <italics> really </italics> cold, some guy has invented a device that you stick in your ear and blast light into your brain to keep you from going nuts.

Sounds a little nutty to me, though.

The late-night comics and Internet wags are having a field day with the “how cold is it” jokes:

• It’s so cold Miley Cyrus had to put her clothes back on.

• It’s so cold I saw a Greyhound bus and the dog was riding on the inside.

• It’s so cold teenagers have pulled their pants up.

• It’s so cold that a flasher was seen describing his privates to three different women.

• It’s so cold Donald Trump’s hair is freezing in place.

• It's so cold Bill Clinton is sleeping with his own wife so he can stay warm.

• It’s so cold hitchhikers are holding up pictures of their thumbs.

• It’s so cold there’s no hot air left in Washington.

• And of course, the old favorite: it’s so cold lawyers have their hands in their own pockets.

I’m tired of winter. Everyone I know is tired of it. I want blooming azaleas and blossoming pear trees and sunshine. Blue skies, golf-perfect temperatures and rides on pontoon boats.

But take heart: it's almost over. If we can survive the cold for a few more days, spring should start poking its head through. When that happens, be sure to watch out for Miley Cyrus.


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