Good morning. It snowed. Look outside your window, and you will see evidence of this. I always back up my assertions with facts, you know. I’m a journalist.

I had planned my usual report on world financial markets and parenting tips for this space, but in light of recent meteorological events, I’m making a sharp hook northeast and writing about the weather instead. Why? Because I care about you and your family. I know what you need, and I know what you want.

What you want is more news about the weather.

A MAN IN A SUIT FLIPS THROUGH THE MORNING PAPER AT THE BREAKFAST TABLE: “Sports scores, the economy, Marmaduke? Rubbish! You know what we need, Helen? More weather reports from our media.”

HELEN: “Yes, dear. More bacon?”

Helen is clearly having a torrid affair with the plow guy.


So, with your needs in mind, here is a list of things you will need to endure the Big Blow of 2015. I know you need these things because I have written 14,582 sidebars detailing them before previous storms. Plus, I tend to peek inside the carts of other shoppers while I’m in the stores. You people are sick!

* Toilet paper. Medical research has shown, apparently, that the human bowels are more active during wintertime storms. Way, way more active. You will see people pushing carts at the grocery store containing nothing BUT toilet paper. Mountains of the stuff. And the shopper right behind him will be hauling that much TP plus an extra roll, because who wants to be the guy who brought home 40 rolls when he could have managed 41? Bowel events are nothing to fool with.

* Board games: You know, Operation, Stratego, Battleship, Life, Monopoly, that boring game made fun because it has a bubble popper thingy in the center of the board? Games you remember from your really boring youth, in other words. Bring out all the board games you want, your kids aren’t going to deign to play with any of that ancient crap. They’re going to complain loudly and inexorably because they can’t get a signal in order to play Grand Theft WarCraft Slaughterville 9 on their XD Box 47. And you’re going to spend all your time relating to your kids that they really don’t know how good they’ve got it; that back in your day, you tied two tin cans together, and you were happy to have it. Also, mustard sandwiches for some reason. You’re old.

* Candles: You will purchase several hundred of these in anticipation of a power outage event (during these storms, it is important to label everything an event) and you will place them strategically in every room, the result being that your house looks like that final scene from “Carrie,” where Carrie goes all Ginsu on her momma. You will do all this and then discover that you have no way to light them. Not a single Dollar Store lighter, not one measly match. That’s what you get for quitting smoking, quitter.

* Water: Water is important in any emergency. Of course, if you go to Shaw’s right now to get some, you will find all those shelves empty because, right after toilet paper, water is the first thing to go. Nobody, but nobody, wants to be reduced to drinking his or her own pee. The irony is that the eyebrow-deep bounty of fresh snow can be melted and purified for human consumption, and if you do it that way, your kids will think you’re Les Stroud and maybe give you a little respect for an hour or two. A respect event, we call it.

* Beer: For obvious reasons. Although, a real man would make his own liquor using only potatoes, vinegar and the little zappy thing from Operation. Don’t touch the sides! There goes his funny bone! Pretty sneaky, Sis!


* Connect Four: You don’t really need this, but it’s the only way to make the above line work properly.

* Mother-in-law. Come on, Champ. You know it’s the right thing to do. You need to invite your mother-in-law (when ARE you going to start calling her mom?) over to get her out of the storm. She lives all alone now after poor Hank died after eating that bad fish. And what, you think her deadbeat son is going to help her out? That’s a laugh. Timmy’s only interest these days is Oxycontin and Farmville. Plus, he’s got that mysterious limp that he refuses to talk about. Go get your poor mom-in-law and maybe she’ll put you back in her will.

* Ham radio: Go get yourself a unit, study hard on its proper usage, and then get your technician’s license. When you’re done, come over to my house and give me the answers because, man, that test is kicking my butt. I’m having a kicked-butt event.

* Medical supplies: Elderberry, betadine, colloidal silver and apple cider vinegar are all you need, but if you want to be all prissy about it, get some Bactine, Band-Aids and Bufferin. If you need something stronger, call Timmy. He’ll hook you up.

* Canned goods: You got your ravioli, your Beefaroni and SpaghettiOs, the ones with sliced franks. Caution should be used here because the image on the regular SpaghettiOs can kind of LOOKS like it has sliced franks, but it does not. If forced to eat SpaghettiOs without the franks, just give up. That’s worse than drinking your own pee.

* Can opener: The kind that doesn’t require electricity. Got one of those? I didn’t think so. If you’re too proud to borrow one from a neighbor, vigorously rub the top of the can against a cement floor and it will open right up for you. SpaghettiOs (without sliced franks) actually taste better when eaten off the basement floor.


There’s plenty more you should have on hand, but this should be enough to get you through. I wish you and your family the best in surviving the historic Blizzard of 2015, which, since I’m writing this two days before the event, may turn out to be nothing more than a dusting.

Ha ha, loser! Look at all that toilet paper you got for nothing!

Mark LaFlamme is a Sun Journal staff writer. He has a fine relationship with his own mother-in-law.


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