The weather guessers (or the weather puppets, if you prefer) were wrong on Friday. They had predicted between 3 and 6 inches of snow.
Prior to Friday, temperatures were balmy and most of our meager season’s snow had melted. Apocalyptic reports on local radio and Tee Vee telegraphed concerns about the running of the maple sap, intimating with provocative headlines that the industry was on the verge of collapse before the season began. Of course, if one dared read “beyond the fold” they’d quickly learn that maple producers were not worried about temperatures, snow, or sap flow at all.
Friday’s weather event started out with rain, making it messy and dangerous as the morning slipped into early afternoon. With New Hampshire presidential candidates swarming into the region for Tuesday’s upcoming primary, weather became part of the story. Would the candidates be able get their ground game on the ground?
Rumors swirled around with the snow and reporters tweeted conspiratorial speculations. And on Sunday (as I wrote this post) more snow raced towards New England, threatening to upset the kabuki theater which is “presidential politics.”
If you’ve ever fallen asleep with an AM radio on, you know numerous theories abound regarding who controls everything, including the weather. “HAARP,” “DARPA,” and “chemtrails” are just a few of the words you hear in the wee hours of the morning. These theories find their way into conversations from time to time, through Facebook “shares” and local coffee klatches. I’m surprised Uncle Bob has never mentioned anything about it at the family Thanksgiving or Christmas gatherings.
That’s not to say Uncle Bob doesn’t dabble in conspiracies.
After cleaning up my own driveway on Saturday morning, I took a walk around town. As I approached Pleasant Street, I could see Uncle Bob raking the snow off the wagon shed. I made my way through the snow around the garden and we had a pleasant five minutes of “weather conversation.” Then Uncle Bob asked me why I didn’t get a small dog, as he saw so many of them around town. Sensing I wasn’t going to bite at the topic, he asked me if I was planning to watch the Super Bowl.
I hardly knew how to respond. I’ve been shielding my eyes from Super Bowl news since January 24, 2016. The ugliness of that day damaged me. I couldn’t bring myself to talk about it nor could I listen to or read any post-mortem about the game. I occasionally wondered if I shouldered some of the blame because I had laughed so hard at WEEI’s Mikey Adams and his smarmy mockery of Peyton Manning using Alice Cooper’s rock anthem “18.” It’s true. I could no longer look at Manning’s forehead without laughing. (You’ll have to search for it yourself; it’s too crude for linking on the blog.)
After I composed my thoughts, I told Uncle Bob how mystified I was by the Patriots’ loss. How could it have happened?
Then Uncle Bob said something surprising. I wish I could remember his actual words. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my reporter’s notebook and Uncle Bob may have frowned on it anyway. But as best as I recall, he suggested that the Patriots may have thrown the game to the Broncos so that Manning could win one more Super Bowl ring before he retired.
I tried to object, suggesting that Bill Belichick and Tom Brady were far too competitive for such nonsense but Uncle Bob persisted in his theory. And since he is my uncle, it’s not like I could say “that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. What are they putting in the beer up to The Club?”
Uncle Bob got back to his roof raking, which was the sign that our conspiracy conversation was finished and made allusions to the weather horizon.
“February can be a funny month,” he predicted. “You never know.”
Sure enough, you never know and adding a conspiracy twist to Super Bowl L (that’s “50” in Roman numerals, now that the NFL has decided to go with Arabic numerals) makes my decision to boycott the event even more interesting. While the Broncos and the Panthers battle it out, I’ll be writing my Sun Journal “for the love of sauce” EATS article, which will run on Valentine’s Day. My complete media blackout begins at 6:30 p.m. on the dot. My radio will be tuned to WJTO’s “Crooners and Big Bands” and since the owner of the station never plays any syndicated news feeds, I’ll have to wait until morning to find out if Uncle Bob was right or not.
Will Peyton Manning be sporting a second Super Bowl ring by the time this blog is posted on Monday morning, thanks to the triangulation of Belichick, Brady, and Goodell? Or will the Carolina Panthers win their first championship, due to some other type of (as yet) unknown conspiracy theory?
As Uncle Bob might say “We’ll see.”