Thursday, March 6, 2003

Enough is enough

Winter just won't go away

By now, I'm ready to flog meteorologist Steve Horstmeyer with his winter hat. I would like to force-feed Al Roker a fried Twinkie and put Nair in Pete Delkus' shampoo. Because these guys haven't given us any good news for weeks.

It's not their fault? I don't care. I'm sick of high pressures and low pressures and 4 inches of "slight precipitation" and cold rain. I don't like winter in the best of circumstances - and those circumstances would be brief and unseasonably warm - but this year has been mean and endless.

And the forced gaiety suggested by the creators of something called Grump Out Day only puts me in a worse mood.

Artificial smile factory

SmileMania, a company located in Florida, sent out a bulletin declaring May 28 as the Great American Grump Out, urging us "to abstain from being grumpy for the day." If this outfit really wants a challenge, I'd suggest they schedule their big day earlier in the year.

Like right now.

Because - and goodness knows I try to be as lighthearted as the next person who has been skating on ice for the past six weeks - I think I will naturally be less grumpy when May rolls around. The windshield scraper will be back under the seat with the Happy Meal boxes. My coat will be in the cedar closet. I'll be wearing sneakers instead of boots. I won't need their help.

If somebody sincerely wanted to put a smile on our faces, they wouldn't wait until we've washed the salt off our cars and filled the worst of the potholes. But this smile factory is located in Florida, where they take the sun for granted.

The smile patrol

Maybe one of the company's "Smile Ambassadors" should strap on some snow shoes and come north in January. Although it's probably not safe for them to go around preaching their message to people who have endured record low temperatures, record snowfall, record bad television, record sick days, record bad hair days and record dry skin.

Their suggestions include wearing Grump Out Belly Buttons, "worn on the participants' tummy where they can claim to be an `innie' if they are in favor of being a grump or an `outie' if they want the grumps out."

You will probably not be amazed to know that you can purchase Grump Out paraphernalia, such as buttons and Grumpy Stones. "Slip them into pockets, leave them on people's desks or place them directly into people's hands. It's a great way to meet people and breaks the ice at parties."

Or you can "paint the air with bubbles and watch your child spirit unfold." We are also advised to carry a banana with us all day. "Hold it the right way, and it's a smile."

Doesn't that just make you want to hit someone over the head with a snow shovel?

WGUC radio's Brian O'Donnell, who often makes my drive tolerable in the mornings, claims to have achieved inner peace after reading something that counseled him to finish things he has started.

"So today I finished two large bags of potato chips, the last half of a pumpkin pie, a nearly full bottle of Jose Cuervo, a small box of Godiva chocolates and I slapped the living crap out of someone I have never liked. I now feel better than I have felt for a long time."

And you don't even have to buy a button.

E-mail or phone 768-8393.

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