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The drifts of March

Agriculture.com Staff 03/30/2006 @ 11:13am

A recent spate of March snowstorms shattered all hopes that global warming was about to transform this area into a Midwestern Riviera, complete with an abundance of over-priced yachts and sports cars and beachside kiosks offering Botox injections to the bored and beautiful bikini-clad heiresses whom, we assumed, would soon be strolling our perpetually warm and sunny lake shores.

March can be that way. It can tease you with a series of balmy, vernalish days, infusing you with the hope that an early spring is about to arrive, that this long, slow, cold torture called "winter" is about to end.

We humans aren't the only ones to be drawn in by the wiles of March. By late February clouds of geese were blowing up from the south and were alighting in our snow-free corn fields. Given even the slightest provocation, they would swirl back up to the sky like living, squawking whirlwinds.

By mid-March pairs of robins and flocks of blackbirds had arrived in the area. Surely these are harbingers of an early spring! Surely these creatures know more than any man-made computer-generated long-range prognostication!

But, no. We saw that a bunch of bird-brained birds are worthless at predicting early springs when we got gob-smacked by a mid-March blizzard.

I was running some errands the day after the blizzard, when the snow had stopped falling and the wind had dwindled from murderous to merely malicious. My errands took me to a John Deere dealership where the parts man and I had a lively conversation that started off with cabin fever and evolved into a serious cinematic discussion.

"Most guys," said the parts man, "Think that 'Blazing Saddles' is about the best movie ever made. Most women think it's about the worst."

I agreed with this astute observation, and went on to bemoan how inferior cartoons are nowadays compared to back when. We talked about the unmatched genius of Chuck Jones' Bugs Bunny cartoons, especially the sublime "What's Opera, Doc?". The parts guy immediately began to softly chant "Kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit!" to the tune of "Ride Of The Valkyries."

Fueled by this highbrow yet stimulating conversation, I set out finish the last of my errands, namely, the return of some photos I had borrowed from a neighbor.

Ever notice how some driveways seem to be set up for the specific purpose of catching snow? Well, our neighbors have just such a driveway.

A female, upon confronting the sea of drifts that was supposed to be a driveway, would have sensibly opted to come back at another time, maybe in August or so. But being a guy I saw this snow-choked driveway as a challenge, just as it's a challenge for the Coyote to try to catch the Roadrunner.

Humming "Kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit!", I slammed my car into gear and slammed it into the ocean of drifts.

You know how sometimes the Coyote doesn't realize he's run off a cliff until he's clear out over the middle of a yawning chasm? That's pretty much what happened to me.

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