The Rear End

4 Ways to Complain About Winter 2019

‘tis the season of weather-related problems – remember to mix it up

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Michelle Roberts |

This winter, as you may have heard, has been bat-crap crazy. Soul-crushing cold gave way to roof-crushing snowfall which gave way to basement-destroying flood water. Any day now, we can expect ice demons to rise up from our chunky, filthy snowbanks. And we’ll all be too friggin’ numb to care.

Meanwhile, bursting from the woodwork like a gush dirty melt water are the Complaints of the Chippewa Valley. And I get it. There is much about which to be annoyed. And I think it’s perfectly fine to vent a little before accepting that things could be much, much worse. So go ahead and get that rant off your chest. And hey, if you’re looking for new ways to complain this year, check out a few examples below. Perhaps you’ll be inspired.

1. The Humble Complaint Brag

Sometimes a complaint is really just a gob of bitter chocolate slathered over a gooey center of robust braggadocio. In other words, complaints are a great way to talk about yourself.

Maybe you took it upon yourself to locate, dig out, and hammer the ice off a sewer drain or two. Good for you! For real – it’s awesome you did that for your neighbors. But how can you let everyone know? Complain about the city, of course! Talk about how the city should have been on top of this weeks ago – and then post a photo online of your freshly freed drain sucking down that sweet, sweet street water. I bet yours is better than the one the city cleared a block away. Boom. Your friends now have a reason to applaud your icy efforts.

Or maybe you worked really hard to renovate your basement and now there’s an inch of water over in the corner. As you complain about it, don’t forget to mention the hardwood wall paneling you cut yourself from 200-year-old reclaimed barn timber. And hey – did you build that bar and those cabinets all by yourself? Of course you did! Tell us about it. Again.

2. Complain-ception

This kind of complaining works really well on Facebook or any kind of threaded comment situation, where every complaint has the potential to spawn a new universe of complaints. A new complain-i-verse, if you will. (You will.)

Let’s say someone leaves a comment saying, “The city takes forever to plow my street!” Then someone else can can reply, “The plow drivers have a hard job. They’re the real heroes!” And someone else can reply, “But it’s just their job!” And someone else can reply, “Yeah, but no one sticks to the odd/even parking rules!” And someone else can reply, “Yeah, but the city’s ‘snow event’ signs are tiny!” And someone else can reply,“Signs was a great movie!” And someone else can reply, “Really!? You’ve forgiven Mel Gibson for that hateful crap he said?” And someone else can reply, “I’m able to separate a person from their art! Why can’t you?” And someone else can reply, “You people watch too much TV!”

Eventually, the cascading, nested complaints swirl and swirl until your phone melts into a steaming pile of liquid glass and plastic.

3. Common-Sense Complaint

These complainers like to keep things short and sweet because they are no-nonsense people who tell it like it is. They’re the kind of people who – unsolicited – tell other people their tips for international travel. Or camping. They especially love pointing out problems you probably hadn’t considered, immediately followed by common-sense advice to dodge the danger.

They love ice dams. LOVE THEM. Ice dams set the frosty stage for hours of unsolicited warnings and advice. “Your roof is going to leak,” they casually throw out, “it just will. Water wants  to be in you wall. Just fill up some panty hose with rock salt and toss ’em onto the roof. Easy. But you’re probably too late.”

“Once that ice builds up,” they add with a sinister twinkle in their eye, “you’re screwed.”

So what are they complaining about? You. And how little you know about what they know so much about. Basically, your troubles are a chance for Mr. or Mrs. Common Sense to feel good about themselves. You are lucky to have them. They are your common-sense saviors.

4. Just Don’t Complain

This is always a viable option.

Journey Ahead

We all get old. In fact, some of us, right at this very moment, ARE old. V1's guide to challenges and opportunities of growing older in the Chippewa Valley. Presented by the ADRC of Eau Claire County