Harmony County

2011 & 2009 Winner of "Best Humor Column" awarded by the SC Press Association

“Oh the weather outside is frightful…”

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I fired, or perhaps froze, this letter off last week.
“To: South Carolina Department of Weather
Columbia, South Carolina
“It came to my attention, rather dramatically, that you have failed miserably to keep our State warm. As I was walking across my front yard to get the paper my private bits froze. As a result I believe I will never father children again. You will hear from my lawyers as soon as I can thaw them out.”
Signed: Shivering Jim McGowan
It is clear I am not a person who enjoys cold weather. That is really an understatement. I hate cold weather. When I was in the Army I tried to make this point clear to the powers that be. In typical Army fashion they sent me to places where the fields were covered with white, and it sure was not cotton.
When I joined in January the perverse recruiter sent me to Fort Dix, NJ for basic training. Few people are aware the Fort Dickey-Do is 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle. And as per my usual weather luck it was the coldest winter since the invention of ice.
One of the important skill that is taught in Basic is how to dig a foxhole without the benefit of a fox. What you do have is an entrenching tool lovingly referred to as an. ‘ignorant spoon’. Trying to dig a hole in the ground frozen clear down to the roof of the inferno is just about impossible. However, drill sergeants seemed to have a lack of understanding about this and so we left quite a few feeble dents in the ground.
Next stop was airborne school. No holes to dig, except the ones you make with your face when you do a bad landing. Plenty of yelling NCOs though. Here’s a quick physics lesson. Cold air is thinner than warm air. This make for more rapid descents and the resulting face holes. Fort Benning, Ga. tastes lousy.
I got stationed in Germany. Germany made Fort Dix look positively balmy. I was there for two summers. I missed the first one since I was in the snack bar having coffee. The second I do recall. It was on a Tuesday. I remember being out in the field and after a night patrol coming back and laying out my sleeping bag next to my jeep. A few hours later when I woke there was five inches of snow on me. When I got out I was shivering uncontrollably for the better part of an hour. We were all flapping our arms around like a flock of penguins.
I got stationed out in the Midwest in the Omaha area. The winters there are the German twin. The only thing between Omaha and the North Pole is a one strand wire fence and it was down. One winter it snowed 110 inches. The locals said it was only the seventh snowiest winter recorded.
Oh, by the way, my brass monkeys are not doing so well either. © 2015, Jim McGowan


Written by harmonycounty

January 15, 2015 at 4:42 p01

Posted in Americana, Humor

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