The first instalment of the much anticipated new
series of weather-related fact sheets, and which will undoubtedly include many other interesting facts about how to humour uncles, squirrel soufflé recipes, and the best time of day to shine one's shoes, by Gail F. Wyndes
Instalment #2016-1Ai: North
I like weather. I like reading about weather and watching
weather related news. I like talking about the weather with people on the bus
or at bus stops, the blood donor bus, and many other bus-related places. School
buses are good if you can get on them. Don’t forget about busing tables in
restaurants; that not only affords you the chance to chat all things weather
with a wide range of people, you also get paid to do it! Unless you are the bus
boy in a biker bar, in which case, best to keep your trap shut, your eyes open,
and your sneakers laced and ready to run. Or so my Uncle Hemlock used to tell
me all the time whilst taking a shit with the door open in our family’s cottage
I like experiencing certain types of weather and most
definitely I like experiencing certain types of weather much more than others.
The one that really pickles my walnuts is the classic north-south match up.
Have ever had the pleasure of standing on my porch of a late
September evening when a warm southern front meets up with its cooler cousin
from the north? Of course you haven’t. We don’t know each other. If you
were on my porch and I saw you there, I would ask what you wanted, or not,
depending on whether you were a) holding a gun b) holding a puppy c) holding a
gun to a puppy’s head. But back to the weather.
As a Canadian, and therefore a weather expert,
I wouldn’t lie to you. I might ramble on incoherently, apropos of nothing, non
sequiturially, thesaurus in hand, or rather, in what was once a rather chic
black leather knapsack, perhaps four hundred years ago, but which has now been
so abused that it’s a wonder it stays together at all. I suppose it’s because
of the children. But I would never lie.
I shall now relate how I first
came to admire, then love this exquisite yet maddeningly too infrequent event.
So. I was standing on my porch of a late September evening. The
thermometer read 14 Celsius, which I knew to be our country's secret code for 57 Fahrenheit, but it felt a bit clammy so I wore my heavy fleece jacket.
Humidity rising could only mean one thing, I thought: Moisture from the south. As
though to reward me for my conclusion (and for being able to even think the word “moisture” without gagging), a warm and flirty wind lovingly caressed my armpit. But
the moment the thought was thunk, and the caressed carunked, a shiver ran down
my left arm as a north wind suddenly socked me in the bicep, the kind you get
from a long lost buddy to whom you still owe $500. Friendly, but with a hint of
barely controlled hatred.
After some embarrassing trials and errors, which included many secret, semi-naked meteorological rituals, and which, thankfully, the neighbours didn’t
see, I discovered that, by keeping my left arm inside the jacket and my right
arm out of it, and tucking the right sleeve, which would otherwise be dangling
dangerously by my side, ever threatening to expose my vulnerable left side to
the increasingly crotchety north wind, into the waistband of my jeans, I could
keep myself at a perfectly even temperature. Slightly warm on one side. Slightly
cool on the other. This is a most delicious feeling. I recommend it highly. It may take years before you experience it, so be patient. It is well worth the wait. Like a good soufflé at a fancy restaurant.
Although... I suppose one could create a facsimilous experience
if one employed a hot water bottle filled with warm Earl Grey tea on one side of one’s body and a bag of spring
time fresh frozen peas that has been allowed to thaw in the reference section of your nearest library for exactly 37 minutes on the other. All I ask it that you don’t do it on my porch.