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Tuesday, March 01, 2005

More of the white shit

There was a joke that made the rounds years ago and probably still does today, about someone who had recently moved from the sunny south to the wintry north and was keeping a diary. Early entries expressed delight at the magical beauty of the first snowfall, but as time went by the diarist's attitude toward the snow became less appreciative, finally decaying into the phrase "More of the white shit fell last night."

A version of this joke can be found here. This one is tailored for Minnesota, but I have found others where the setting is Maine, Canada, and even Pennsylvania. (This is one of the cleanest versions I've found, but if you want to find more extreme versions it's not very hard.)

I think this joke predates the common use of e-mail. It may have been from that ancient time in the late 80's and early 90's when such things made the rounds by fax machine. (Can you imagine? Fax machines played a huge role in spreading these tidbits once upon a time. My Physics department received a fax of a fax of a fax of a fax of the Pons and Fleischmann Cold Fusion report back in 1989. I remember hunching over a photocopy of it with a magnifying glass, trying to decipher the distorted blobs that had once been letters many generations before. By the time I got through it, I believe the entire thing had already been denounced.) In any case, this story was a favorite of my grandmother, who died in 1998. For years before she died, she would refer to any new-fallen snow as "more of the white shit", and then laugh. It was pretty funny, coming out of the mouth of a clean-living 80-something churchgoing Polish grandmother. I miss her.

Anyway, that's what we're dealing with now. Another seven inches last night, on top of the five inches that fell last Thursday night, on top of the remnants of the three inches that fell the previous Sunday, on top of the inch or so that fell the Thursday before that. (I think I missed another overnight squall somewhere, but at this point, it doesn't even matter!) It seems like only two weeks ago that I was talking about how all the snow had melted away. It's back, if only for a little while!

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