It is cold. I just watched the news, and Tracy Butler was quite grim in her delivery of the weather segment today. She didn't even crack any jokes with Linda Yu. And the whole report was peppered with phrases like: Unforgiving Arctic Blast.. Minimum Minutes of Exposure, and: Colder Than Hell. The word Death came up a few times, too. And here I have put off my shopping for so long that I have no choice but to go out, and, as Tracy suggested, try to avoid death today. Ok. I'll try. And on days like this I always remember a warning I got from my dentist about not opening my mouth while outside in this degree of cold, as my teeth might develop tiny cracks from the extremes in temperature. Good, good.. All good stuff. But, what can I do? I have to HAVE TO do my shopping today..
I could stick around here in my neighborhood and get everything done in a couple of hours. But, if I go into the Loop I will have something more of a Christmas experience. It might get me in the spirit of the thing. There I could check out Marshall Field's windows, visit Santa and stop at the museum for a little while. But in the Loop, I would also have to deal with the tourists. And, at three-hundred-thousand-million strong, they pose a problem. Traveling in groups of eight or ten, the tourists walk five abreast at minimum, and while holding hands to form human chains, or really, walls of humans. And you just can't get past them. Unless you walk in the street, which is just a different kind of death. And the tourists are way too happy, which only highlights the contrast of my more sour mood. Always singing songs in what I'm guessing is Swedish, or possibly Eskimo, they seem, as an army, totally unbothered by our weather. Which makes them a slow, meandering mass that only serves to completely clog the side walks, as well as bring billions of dollars to the city. They are, dare I say it, downright amused by the weather in Chicago. And that.. that just makes me mad.
Rolf! Was ist das? This kold! Is it not charming-ck?
Ja! It is refreshing! Eigentlich, I feel like a peppermint!
Vhy don't vee remove-it our koats, and valk ahs szlowly ahs possible, und really enjoy-it this kalt vvveather..
Ja! In fahct, lets go get-it zee eis kream kones, und valk directly to zee lake!
Oh, dar-linck, you are fun! Zee lake zhould be frozen zolid by now! It vill be a totally bahr-ren expahnse! Just max-i-mum white, endless und vvvonderful.. like death!
(Rolf laughing sinisterly) See, my little fischen, I too cahn be-it fun, zometimes..
Ah! That's vy I married-it you, you big strongck krokodil..
Ha ha! Oh! Und, vee cahn have-it a snow pic-nic, too, if you are a gut little frauen..
Ja! Das snow pic-nic ist gut! I vill be gut, too!
Gut. Lets go to zee store und build-it our pic-nic right away! Und get zee hell ouht of ze krowds.
Vhatever you vant, Rolf..
Ja? Vhatever? Vhat are you zaying, mein little fleischspeisen*?...
And well.. you get the gist. The language is foreign to me. Still, I'm certain that this is what they're saying. And, don't get me wrong, I am easy to spot in this ridiculous scene, as well. I'm the one running for my life, weaving desperately through the mob of tourists, trying unsuccessfully to get to my next destination without dying. I am the one looking quite like Yuri Zhivago after his trek across Siberia, when I finally do make it into a store. And I'm not alone. I'm just the only one who's not screaming in the streets from the pain, or to beg the visitors to temporarily break their human chains, so that I might please get through. Because of course, I'm trying to protect my teeth from the tiny cracks. And because it's a waste of breath anyway, the tourists.. they never, ever break their chains.
* meat dish