Wow–what a winter so far! Already two “nor’easters” have hit New England, causing massive losses of fluffy white poodles in snow banks, and a third is on its way! Nor’easter, that is, not poodles. Here are answers to your Winter Weather Questions from Gerbil Weather Network:
Q: What is a “nor’easter” anyway?
A: A nor’easter is a storm that comes from the northeast. Duh.
Q: Why the funny spelling?
A: The original nor’easter in 1650 blew a “t” and the “h” away.
Q: What happened to them?
A: They were used to form a primitive version of “Hooked on Phonics.”
Q: The ke-mer-shel ej-e-ka-shun-el me-tir-e-al that im-pruvs reed-ing skilz thru fo-niks?
A: On the nosey.
Q: What did they do with it?
A: They used it to torture people suspected of being witches.
Q: I read recently that descendants of people accused of witchcraft would sometimes change the spelling of their last name, so that makes sense. Are there any similar weather-related directional schemes like nor’east in the northeast I should be aware of?
A: In the southwest, when a tornado hits you’re supposed to go to the southwest corner of your basement.
Q: Why is that?
A: Damned if I know. I’m only here to answer winter weather questions.
Q: Is there a common phrase about the weather that people in New England think is original with them?
A: “If you don’t like the weather, stick around–it’ll change.”
Q: But people say that everywhere.
A: I know. We think we’re the Hub of the Universe here.
Q: Didn’t Oliver Wendell Holmes say that?
A: Yes–also “Three generations of imbeciles is enough.”
Holmes: “I’m thinking of an imbecile between one and three.”
Q: Enough for what?
A: Enough imbeciles, you imbecile.
Q: What else did he say?
A: “Don Gullett’s going to the Hall of Fame, but I’m going to the Eliot Lounge.”
Q: I thought that was Bill “Spaceman” Lee.
A: You may be right. I’m always getting the two mixed up.
Q: With all this snow, whatever happened to global warming?
A: We built massive windmills that blew it away.
Q: You haven’t done much to dispell the widely-held belief that New Englanders are cold and unhelpful.
A: You’re welcome.
Available in Kindle format on amazon.com as part of the collection “Take My Advice–I Wasn’t Using it Anyway.”