Looked at the kitchen calendar over the weekend and noticed it was March, then saw that the weather out the window appeared stuck in some dreary December-January twilight zone.
There was only one thing for an enterprising journalist to do -- put in a call to Mother Nature. The following conversation ensued:
Mother Nature: Hello. You got all of nature's big mama here. Who's calling?
Morning File: Someone desperate for spring to arrive, mama. What gives?
Mother Nature: According to my calendar, sonny, spring don't get here till March 20. If you're not tough enough to endure a few more weeks of cold, rainy, sleety, wintry mix, why don't you pull the bed covers back over you in your fetal position and have a good girlie sob? Don't whine to me -- I've got enough on my plate, keeping an eye out for asteroids and meteorites.
Morning File: But this has gone on long enough! Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring this year.
Mother Nature: I imagine that was so a bunch of early-morning drunks could have a smile on their face while worshipping some clueless rodent. You must be just as intoxicated to believe any of it.
Morning File: It's just that the weather's been so unrelentingly depressing. We've had one day since the end of January with the thermometer above 50, and blue skies have been rarer than praise for Luke Ravenstahl.
Mother Nature: Where did you say you're calling from?
Morning File: Pittsburgh.
Mother Nature: Ha, Pittsburgh! You think you have the right to complain about whatever weather you get in Pittsburgh? Oy, what I have to put up with.
Morning File: But so many things have gone so well for us in recent years -- the economy, the riverfronts, the sports teams. The population has even quit plummeting. It'd be nice to see some better weather to complete the picture.
Mother Nature: That's the last reason to give you good weather! You want it all? You don't deserve it all. I'd rather provide a pleasant day to someplace that has other troubles. Now the Syrians -- they deserve good weather. You should have been in Damascus over the weekend -- temps in the 60s and 70s, sunshine. It was beautiful.
Morning File: But I don't want to wear my winter coat for another month. Have mercy.
Mother Nature: You've got no case to plead, bub. You're lucky I don't decide to drop two feet of snow on you on March 12 like 20 years ago -- and I'm not saying I won't. In fact, this irritating call is making it more likely by the minute.
Morning File: How about just throwing in a little more sunshine to lighten our mood?
Mother Nature: I give you Pittsburghers 59 days of total sunshine a year. That's one more than Seattle and 49 more than Cold Bay, Alaska. You know how many complaints I get like this from Cold Bay, Alaska? Zero. Zilch.
Morning File: Yeah, but only 108 people live there. In Pittsburgh, you're impacting the psyche of more than 2 million. We're not asking for San Diego's weather permanently -- just a taste of it every now and then through the bad months to remind us good times are ahead.
Mother Nature: Didn't your mother ever tell you it takes a rainy day to appreciate the sunshine?
Morning File: Only every day of our lives together in Pittsburgh, it seemed.
Mother Nature: Smart woman. You know, you've got it quite good there, if you step back to view the big picture. Or maybe you'd rather have the hurricanes I put on the East Coast, the tornadoes I send to the country's mid-section, or the mud slides, fires and earthquakes I like to rattle the Californians with. You want to trade your cloudy days for some of that fun?
Morning File: Well, no, but --
Mother Nature: I didn't think so. How's about some Florida-style summer humidity that brings giant bugs and storms every afternoon and --
Morning File: No, I'm not saying --
Mother Nature: Or some Minnesota-like blizzard conditions where you have to use man-made tunnels to get anywhere or risk frostbite. You want some of that, huh?
Morning File: No, not really. Just two partly sunny days in the 50s, back to back, that's all I want ... and one of them on the weekend, if it's not too much to ask.
Mother Nature: Oh, is that all? Don't worry, jocko -- the month of May will be here soon enough.intelligencer
Gary Rotstein: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1255.