This Is All Your Fault

placing blame for this Winter’s untimely arrival

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Shannon Sorenson

Everybody hold up – hold on just one second. Stop talking. Take a deep breath. And answer me one simple question:

Which one of you dipsticks did this? 

Don’t be shy, step forward. Who was it? Who let the snow arrive in early November? By which I mean to ask, which one of you ill-bred donk-holes ruined my life? 

You see, I was not personally ready for this snow. And I want it gone. 

Soon my kids will ask, nay, beg for their snow sleds. They will be relentless in their pleading. I shall meet their cries for sled-isfaction with silence. 

It has appeared much too early for me, this wintery blanket – weeks ahead of schedule. And what a wretched morning it was, waking up to frigid white flakes of despair tumbling from the black cavern of the sky. What wickedness. What cruelty. It crushed my little heart.

Snow is fine. Snow is good. It’s proper. But not in early November. It’s just not allowed. 

Now I’ve got snow on my Halloween decorations. Our jack-o-lanterns are frozen into expressions of chilly horror. I haven’t raked the yard. I’ve got soccer balls out there in the back waiting to be picked up. The garden hose remains coiled on the patio. And now all these things have frozen together into a massive ice berg of arctic calamity. 

The worst part? My poor leaves. Those poor, dead leaves scatted atop the grass, now locked beneath an icy shell. You see, I feel robbed of my favorite seasonal activities. No weekend raking rituals. No earthy smells upon the crisp autumn breeze. No leaf pile in which to jump. No dumping of mulched leaves over my fence onto the strip of land running along the back of my lot while my backyard neighbor watches from his window in quiet rage because he believes that bit of earth belongs to him and thus I’m dumping yard waste onto his property though he’s totally wrong because it’s mine and why does he even care when the leaves pretty much decompose by spring and he can’t even see that spot anyway because of his big damn giant lilac bushes.

So many sweet autumnal moments I’ll never get back. All because someone let it snow, let it snow. 

Have I mentioned how my storm windows are still out in the garage? Because they are. Way in the back. I’ll need to buy climbing gear just to get at them. I’ve got piles of summertime toys in the way. Bikes. Yard games. Squirt guns and pool noodles. Beautiful kites so full of sunny potential. And guarding the last few feet? My lawn mower. My cold, desolate, thoroughly depressed lawn mower. Lo, had I only known that faithful day in late September was to be the last mowing of the year, my mower would have savored it all the more. It would have taken time to enjoy the feel of the lush grass ‘neath its twirling blades. For life is short. And it ends with snow. 

Soon my kids will ask, nay, beg for their snow sleds. They will be relentless in their pleading. I shall meet their cries for sled-isfaction with silence. For I know not where the sleds may be. Last spring, I grabbed their plasticy toboggans from beside the house, flung open the garage door, and hurled them into the gloomy abyss.

If they themselves wish to enter that shadowy realm, I welcome them to it. 

Well, now. I see not one of you is brave enough to take responsibility for the snow. Will no one step forth to confess? Fine. I will hunt you down. I will pull on my heavy boots and untangle my dusty snow shovel from the dark clutches of my garage. And I will find you. 

I don’t know how long it will take or how far I must trek. I don’t know how many snowbanks I must surmount. But you can mark my words, donk-hole. 

I am coming for you.