A Lemon Fresh Pledge
So far my pledge to myself to begin writing more regularly has been a resounding non-success.
Or, to put it another way, my high expectations have only been exceeded by my low output.
Getting back up on a horse you have fallen off of is much harder than the aphorism would have one believe. It makes it sound as if getting back up on a horse is easy-peasy, lemon squeezy.
I’m here to tell you, there’s no lemon squeezy.
But I’m back for another attempt, because if aphorisms have taught me nothing, they have taught me that if at first one doesn’t succeed, one should just keep on trying until his friends and family begin to suspect he has some sort of psycho-emotional disorder.
But it’s nothing that a little lemon squeezy can’t cure.
Or a dose of salts.
Batten Down The Hatches
Dallas is mostly known for its extreme heat, exceptionally mediocre cuisine, and having to drive an hour to get anywhere.
So, most of us Dallasites have accustomed ourselves to surviving 100-degree heat (38 C) for about 9 months out of every year. Our winters consist generally of finally being able to sit outdoors at restaurants, driving without having to use oven mitts, and being able to walk our dogs without having to put little asbestos boots on their feet.
Therefore, when the temperatures dip down into the 50s (13C), we start reaching for heavy coats, scarves, and questionable headwear.
And when the temperature drops further into the 40s (8 C), local governments are put on high alert, and the lone bag of rock salt is officially taken out of its secret storage bunker.
When the temperatures dip into the low 30’s (0 C), stores are stripped bare of anything that will burn, along with the entire chip aisle at the grocery store. Hardware stores sell completely out of generators. Sales of firewood burn out of control as entire swaths of east Texas are strip mined of anything that will burn or that looks vaguely tree-like.
When we find ourselves in the 20s ( -4 C) or, God forbid, the teens (-8 C), wholesale panic sets in. Sales of urban assault vehicles enjoy a brisk upturn. Firearm sales skyrocket. The rest of the grocery store is emptied out (except the small section of vegan sausage).
But now we are facing unprecedented cold here in Dallas. They are predicting we will hit zero degrees Monday morning (-18 C). That’s right. I said the “Z” word. With a capital Z. (And small e, r, and o.)
I have lived in Dallas for well over 30 years and it has never gotten that cold before. In fact, I believe zero degrees is an all-time record. People don’t quite know what to make of the prediction of zero degrees. I’m not sure it has registered yet. As I said, this is unprecedented.
Just as the ancient Greeks had no concept of zero, neither do Dallasites when it comes to the weather.
People here are just sort of looking at each other like, “So-o-o-o-o … what do we do for zero degrees? Looting? Do we build bunkers? Do we form some sort of primative society? Do we hoard canned goods? Paper products? For the love of everything decent and good, someone tell us what to do!“
I suspect, outside of a few broken water pipes here and there, we will all be just fine.
And it will help me in my attempts to become an honorary Canadian someday. My long-term goal is to one day be on the Canadian Olympic curling team. Or at least to eat at Tim Hortons.
Now that I work from home, I have been doing a lot of teleconferencing.
Consequently, I have been seeing a lot more of myself that I ever have in my life before.
I have managed to live quite a few decades without seeing myself more than about six or eight times a year.
Now I find myself staring at myself on the screen and asking the philosophical question, “Do I really look like that?”
The answer, unfortunately, is an inescapable “yes.” Cameras do not lie, even when you tell them to by clicking on the box that says, “Enhance appearance.”
So far as I can tell, the “Enhance appearance” does nothing, especially when it comes to enhancing anything.
When I first clicked on it, I thought several decades of wear and tear would be burnished away from my face, my hair would suddenly transform into that of an 80’s hair band lead singer, and my clothes would look more stylish.
None of that happened.
My only guess as to what happened is that the computer just shrugged its shoulders and said, “Look, I’m a computer, not a magician.”
And I replied back, “If you can make Tom Cruise look six feet tall, surely you can make me look like I didn’t just emerge from a cave after hibernating all winter.”
To which the computer replied, “If you upgrade to the premium version of this software, I’ll see what I can do.”
So … business-casual Sasquatch it is.