A long time ago there was a movie called “The Gods Must be Crazy.” It was a comedy whose plot revolved around a Botswana African bushman named Xi. One day his life changed when he stumbled upon an empty Coke bottle that had been tossed from an airplane. Xi considered it a gift from God. The bottle takes on growing importance and provokes disagreement over its powers. From there the plot takes twists and turns and ultimately Xi decides to return the bottle to the heavens.
That movie has stuck with me through the years, particularly the title, and I think of it when the state of affairs goes sideways. Like last weekend while I was in Great Bend.
The insanity of the weather Gods popped in my head Saturday morning as my face was going numb, thanks to a fifty mile an hour north wind that carrying a billion snowflakes that were penetrating my jacket, pants, hat, brain. Welcome to April.
You probably had the good sense to watch this weather apocalypse within arm’s reach of the thermostat, maybe with the fireplace blazing and chestnuts roasting over an open fire. Not me. You see, I brought our new puppy Hadley with me because Lori had her own out of town excursion. Hadley, you see, is still being house trained. So every two hours I went outside with her to wait, watch, wait, watch, freeze, and then freeze some more.
And guess who was suddenly constipated?
And so I tried the magic words Lori had shared with me to make it happen — “Do it. Do it. Do it.” Not happening. “Do it. Do it.” This continued while Hadley heard not a word as the wind whistled through the tree branches.
Seconds turned to minutes and then longer. Hadley figured out that things were more interesting across the street at the Convent. And there she wandered over to chase leaves, taste the snow, feel it rush through her snout and love life. She didn’t have any concerns about frost-bite. Half Bernese Mountain dog, half Poodle, her coat made her toasty warm.
Me? Planning my funeral.
While Hadley was having a blast, one of the Dominican sisters came out to inspect her garden, and she noticed the dog and only other human outdoors, while he was muttering something over and over again. When Hadley stopped eating snow she noticed the guest and ran over and introduced herself primarily by lunging at her.
No doubt that Sister returned inside and declared to her fellow Sisters something like “One of those Keenan’s is outside talking to himself again. Add him to the prayer chain.”
Yes, I’m nuts, but I have plenty of reason to be. On that Saturday our fine city was colder than Anchorage, and just slightly warmer than the North Pole.
I-70 and most of the highways west of Barton county were shut down. Arkansas had tornadoes. At Brookdale, where dad now lives, the Weather channel had eclipsed the other favorite station – Fox news – with live reports of reporters standing outside reporting on breaking news like this: “We’ve got snow here.” Every sensible human was furious at these temperatures. Not the weather guys – they could barely contain themselves.
They gave this storm a name. Xanto.
Games everywhere were cancelled. Some college teams kyboshed their scrimmage games. Michigan cancelled its spring game. So did Iowa State and Wisconsin. KU? Unfortunately they are still planning to play that one. Save the date: April 28. Tickets are everywhere.
An hour later I was back outside with my furry pal. I decided to direct my anger to other targets, like that Groundhog — Punxsutawney Phil who predicted winter would end March 15. The only good news I heard was the Davenport Iowa police department put out an arrest warrant for the for the vermin.
So Hadley FINALLY worked her magic, we came back to Larry’s place and the TV had this declaration: A 3.2 magnitude earthquake hit south of Hutchinson.
The Gods are nuts.
When I complained about all this at Brookdale dad told me something that I found preposterous — “You should have been here Thursday. It was 95 degrees.” A 65 degree spread in 48 hours?
Let me know if you find an abandoned Coke bottle near the convent.
Write to Matt at his Website, matthewkeenan.com.