It is April 20, and here in southern Manitoba we are eagerly awaiting another 20 centimeters of snow to add to the 20 centimeters we got yesterday, and just for good measure, Mother Nature has sandwiched the two events together with a filling of freezing rain.

Then she will whip us up some nice 50 to 70 km per hour winds to blow it around and warm up the temperatures to just around freezing so that it sticks nicely to the roads.

If you decide to subscribe to this blog, you will notice a slight preoccupation with the weather that is symptomatic of living in a place where weather dictates where you go, how, when, in what attire and at what speed and orientation in relation to the ground.

Growing up as I did in a warmer clime, I had no idea that places existed on Earth where people have to plug their cars in overnight to stop the engine from freezing up, or where a woolly hat is called a toque and summer is so short you can easily blink and miss it.

All of this leads me to say that I don’t understand how Manitobans can be so un-enterprising. Why has no-one ever thought of exporting all this white stuff? Think of all the people on the planet that have never had the chance to make a snowman or pelt each other with snowballs? That’s a lot of losing out, and I am sure many would pay handsomely for the opportunity to lay down in a snowbank and paddle their arms and legs about to make a snow angel, or make maple syrup taffy – might have to warn them about avoiding the yellow snow, though.

Or, alternatively, we can attract droves of tourists by offering them a true Manitoba winter experience like shoveling snow, wearing ice cleats on their boots (great outside, broken leg waiting to happen on the vinyl flooring of the grocery store), and getting their tongues stuck to the car door handle. In the true tradition of the game, they could play street hockey with a piece of frozen cow dung, and get a brain freeze from drinking a Slurpee in minus-40. Manitoba is the Slurpee Capital of the World, so this last experience is mandatory.

Apart from the six-months of winter, Manitoba isn’t all that bad of a place to live. At least we know we won’t be invaded by Martians – it’s generally warmer on their planet.


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