Enough already; I confess!

I owe northern New England an apology.

I’m the one responsible for the recent power outages, the sore snow-shoveling muscles, the non-working phones, the absent Internet, the spoiled frozen (and refrigerated) food, and related misfortune(s).

I realize I’m putting myself at great personal risk by revealing my culpability. But if I take credit for everything I’ve accomplished so far in my life, like winning the Academy Award, the Nobel Peace Prize and the Olympic Decathlon gold medal, well, it’s only fair that when I’m at fault for something, I own up to it.

I have a friend in Arizona who cannot understand how anyone can live year-round in frigid Maine, which he and his equally ignorant friends refer to as “East Alaska.” But that’s okay; I don’t understand how anyone can live year-round in a parched, oven-like state which my equally ignorant friends and I refer to as “North Hell.”

I gleefully called him a month ago to boast about our incredibly mild, just- concluded (or so I thought) Maine winter. Generally he’s the one calling me sometime in early March, right after I’ve shoveled another foot of snow off the driveway at 4 AM so I can get to work on time. And when he does he really lays it on thick, describing the difficulty of enduring their frigid, humidity-free 55-degree nights.

But he knows he’d better razz me while he can, because come summer, which arrives around May Day down there, I’ll be giving as good as I got. I’ll tell him about needing a sweatshirt to stay warm on our chilly, humidity-free 55- degree evenings, and how difficult tolerating daytime temperatures that sometimes rise to a stratospheric 75 degrees can be. I imagine him, sweating like a bear, gritting his teeth during our summer chats the same way I do when he calls in mid-February to inform me he’s outdoors wearing a red tank top for Valentine’s Day.

But this year’s unusually mild winter gave me the chance to get the jump on our annual climate-related conversations. I called to let him know that all the snow, including what always accumulates at the bottom of the driveway thanks to the town plow and my endless shoveling, was completely gone on March 12th! Not only that, the only three times I used the shovels all winter was for pushing broom-style, rather than for any actual lifting and throwing. I also alluded, none-so-subtly, to the coming six-month heatwave looming for him and his fellow knuckleheads in the Valley of the Sun.

Apparently that’s where I went wrong. I’d offended the Karma gods before, but on those occasions the only person whose backside got bitten due to my indiscretion was me.

But evidently I went too far this time, and we’ve all seen the results. We’ve lost power in my neighborhood on three consecutive weekends, and it’s likely the last of the snow piles at the end of the driveway won’t disappear before May 1st. And just in case I hadn’t figured out it was my crowing about our mild winter that was responsible for all the recent weather-related misfortune, I got irrefutable confirmation last Thursday when, during one of its multiple runs up and down our street, the town snowplow knocked over just one mailbox.


I can’t undo the damage I’ve done, but I’m determined to signal the karma gods that I’ll never displease them again. I’m just trying to figure out how to get their attention. I’d try waving a white flag, but given all the snow still on the ground, I doubt they’d be able to see it.

Andy Young
April 12, 2024

Return to main page
Font size: