Saturday, March 1, 2014

Car curling

Perhaps I would not go on so much about our dramatic weather conditions here in Minnesota if my readership were primarily local, but my readership is primarily imaginary, and they love posts about weather. Think of it, you're out there in the ether, 40 tantalizing feet from existence, and suddenly someone writes for you a short essay about extreme cold, or snow, or ice. How bracing! How vivid! You now feel a mere 10 feet away from existence!

On that note I will now tell you about our roads. They are covered in ice, beautifully manicured ice, complex, blue, green, black, mysterious, hard, and, above all, slippery ice. It is way too cold and dangerous for people to come to my library on purpose. Nevertheless it is surprisingly crowded here during the day. This is not because of our whip smart collection of books, or because of our comfy chair, or because of all the witty things I say to people who owe us pocket change. It is because all roads for miles around slope slightly towards our parking lot. People climb into their cars reluctantly, en route to only the most vital destinations, and as they gently propel themselves out of their driveways and onto the streets, their cars become completely unmoored from what we think of as a traditional relationship to the ground. They become ice on ice, frictionless, prey to entirely new properties. Steering, braking, and accelerating are now utterly meaningless. Momentum, minute issues of slope, and spin determine everything. People pull out of their driveways to go get food, or pick up children, or go to work, but they have no control, their cars drift and slide on their own private winter agendas and, inexorably, they come to us. All roads slide to the library.

By the evening most people work out how all driving is almost exactly like Olympic Curling. It all depends on how you thrust yourself out of your driveway. You have to carefully propel your car with the right weight and spin to get it where you want to go. Having people run in front of the car sweeping the ice to control the speed and line helps a lot too. So because of this, by the evening, it quiets down a lot at the library. I wonder if anyone would come in to the library at all if it weren't for the occasional errant throws, the cars that come floating on some bad angle through the streets, gently sliding up towards our front doors. only to nestle up against a bush or a park bench. Nothing for those people to do then but come into the library and hope for a thaw. The earth is warming. It will come.


  1. I am not a figment of your imagination. Good blog post today. Enjoyed it.

  2. Thanks. I'm glad you liked it. I worried that one of the real people who reads my blog might feel sad. My readership is, yes, predominately imaginary, but all the best readers of my blog roam the Earth indeed!


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