Friday, May 18, 2012

Me, Weather, Gas, and 9/11

Sean Donner (Me)

It has come to my attention that I’ve got some newer readers who are not familiar with who I am. My name is Sean Donner of the Waseca, MN Donners. I’m also claimed by any Donners in New Ulm, MN as well as some other places in Southern Minnesota. I like Punk Rock, snakes, most other animals too, also most other music. I’m a fan of intelligence and love making fun of people. I like to fix things, make people laugh, and imagine things, which is part of why I write.

I have a brother who moved to Phoenix, AZ (which stands for Arizona). Phoenix is a great city and I love it, but moving from Minnesota to Arizona has got to be such a shock to your system. They are just two complete opposite places. Minnesota! Land of 10,000 Lakes! Green… so green. Everything grows there. Dandelions just shoot up in the middle of roads. That’s actually what the yellow lines are made of, evenly spaced dandelions! Corn cobs are giant! Two feet long with a six inch diameter. And each soy bean, not pod of beans, each individual bean grows big enough to make an entire soy burger.

Winters are consistently -90 degrees. We got cold days at school. Not snow days… COLD days! The government steps in and says, “Guys, it’s ju… it’s just too cold.” Don’t get me wrong, there’s still snow. You know how a lot of places get snow and then by noon it’s gone and you can just go around in a light jacket and you’re good? In Minnesota, once it snows, you have snow and it’s there. Hopefully it melts before next winter. Winter sucks and so it feels like the longest season. Really, it’s about three months just like the others but, you know what they say, time slows when you’re slowly dying.

Just when you think winter will never end will never end and you will actually die, summer shows up and it’s instantly 90 degrees with 100% humidity. There is literally one day between -90 and 90 and that day is magical! That’s Minnesota for you though -90 and 90 with mosquitoes that will take one pound of flesh. In the winter they say, “Don’t go outside, you freeze to death” and in the summer they say, “Don’t go outside, you’ll be incinerated!”

So my brother moved from Minnesota to Arizona which is like moving from Austria to the Sahara Desert. One minute “the hills are alive with the sound of music” and the next everything’s dead, you’re thirsty and everywhere you look there’s water only you can’t get to it.

It needs a cowboy hat!
Arizona is cool though. They have the greatest little lizards that scurry about. Scurry is a great word, isn’t it? It’s one of those words that are reserved things based upon their size. You will never hear someone say, “Look at that Elephant, how it scurries about! How cute is that!?” Except that I just said it. My favorite thing about Arizona is the “Man Cactus..s… Cacti” that are everywhere! They’re only in Arizona though; they live nowhere else which is amazing. You cross the border and there they are. And they’re enormous! They are the cactus version of Red Wood trees! Or skyscapers?

One of my biggest pet peeves (which is a stupid… word?) is when you’re talking about a place where the weather is always great and the same, someone will, without exception, say, “I don’t know, I’d miss the seasons.” They’ll say that as serious as they have ever been! “I’d miss the seasons.” That’s ridiculous. It’s like saying, “I hate nice weather. I want to be miserable for parts of the year.” No one says that!

In most parts of the world planning an outside activity is scary. What if on that day it’s cold or raining or otherwise shitty? But in these “season-less” places I could say, “Hey guys, let’s play kickball.”
“Okay” the guys will say, “when?”
“December 21st two years from now” I’ll answer.
“Oh perfect,” the guys will reply, “It’ll be nice out then!”
In most places that conversation would go like this.
“Hey guys, let’s play kickball.”
“Okay, when?”
“In like two hours unless clouds gather together and say in a thunderous voice, ‘I hate outdoor activities! Go inside and watch “Chips” or “Who’s Line Is It Anyway?” reruns!’”
That’s it! Those are your choices. You might ask, “Night Court”? “Cheers”? “Who’s The Boss”? No! Only “Who’s Line…” and “Chips”!

Spring is the best time in Minnesota. Those two days in May between -90 and 90 with the side of 100% humidity. Everyone is so happy. There’s actually no crime! Absolutely none! Just the sound of car stereos and the smell of grilling. The whole state smells like grilled food and music is in the air. People smile and say nice things to their otherwise despised neighbors while they wash their cars and sip cold drinks in their front yards.

People love talking about the weather. Weather is the only thing everyone has in common. You run into the guy down the street at the grocery store and someone will eventually say, “Well, if this rain would let up!” Another favorite is, “How about this weather!?” Also, “I don’t need anymore of this damn snow to deal with!”

People also love talking about gas prices. And everyone is totally knowledgeable about why it is the price it is. “Well, the price per barrel is down. It’s the lowest it’s been since 9/11.” Gasoline conversations always include the catch phrase 9/11. Has ‘9/11’ been trademarked yet? I should do that. I’d be a stickler about it, too. I’d eavesdrop on conversations and as soon as someone says, “9/11 this” or “9/11 that” I’d swoop in with my documentation and demand payment in full. I’m going to do that now!

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