Showing posts with label football. Show all posts
Showing posts with label football. Show all posts

Friday, February 4, 2022

Hopin' For Some Global Warming

A Mr. Cranky's neighborhood episode. 
15% more words this week at no extra charge!

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids — the Stickies — eventual selves to advise them and haunt them after they've become grups and/or I'm deleted.   

Trigger Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, or grups may result in a debilitating meltdown.  

Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlereader  

"Sharks are as tough as those football fans who take their shirts off during games in Chicago in January, only more intelligent." -Dave Barry 

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies and Great-Grandstickies (and Gentlereaders),

Unhappily, Neo-Hooterville was hammered by a horrendous heavy snowfall followed by single-digit temperatures not long ago. The majority of the resulting iceberg-covered sidewalks are still untouched by human hands or feet and I'm hopin' for some global warming because for some reason, this, or something very much like it, happens every year. 

As this is being written we're eagerly anticipating the arrival of a few days of temperatures in the balmy low-forties that the weatherpersons are predicting. Fingers crossed.

But as everyone knows, malevolent butterflies on the other side of the world regularly get together in the parking lots of their favorite bars after closing time and flap their wings so as to screw up the predictions of American meteorologists.

Personally, I think the Pooteen or Xi Dada is behind this phenomenon, maybe both of 'em.   

Nowadays, as you might imagine, passable driveways are important, sidewalks not so much. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled back in 1993 that homeowners have no legal obligation to shovel their sidewalks and no shortage of Hootervillians take them at their word.


A gaggle of aggravated citizens that managed to get out of their driveways showed up at a city council meeting to demand that the "city" should clear their sidewalks for them. I wasn't there but I'll betcha a bottle-a-pop the fact that Hooterville has been shrinking for years and can't afford to properly maintain the sidewalks currently hidden under the frozen tundra was not discussed. 


I know for a fact that no one suggested merging with other surrounding "cities" and townships that have the same/similar problem(s) and should've joined forces a looong time ago.

{If you weren't there how do you know they didn't?} 

It's the local equivalent of saying Voldemort out loud, Dana, it just isn't done. 

On the other hand...

The good news is that the Hooterville School System, which has been on fiscal watch or in fiscal emergency (with the exception of 2016 - 2019) every year since 2003, was officially released from its current fiscal emergency on 1/27. 

Go Dragons!   

Unfortunately, at nearby Youngstown State University, which despite quite reasonable tuition rates (comparatively speaking at least), enrollment is so far down this year (I can't imagine why) some academic programs and staff have both been cut. Fortunately, the budget for the athletics program was increased by $885,000.

Go Penguins! 

The condition of the campus sidewalks after our recent blizzard made the local news. One freshperson was quoted as saying, “The roads and the sidewalks were disgusting...and it was definitely a slipping hazard for some of the people that have disabilities on campus.”

I know what you're thinking, gentlereaders, why didn't they pass out snow shovels to the students with athletic scholarships and tell them to have at it? I'll betcha a box-a-donuts it's against union rules.

{Feelin' folksy this week, Homer? I know for a fact you came up on the mean streets of Pittsburghand Sister Mary Mcgillicuddy taught you not to drop letters when pronouncing words.}  
Dang straight. I call it muh Dan Rather, pre-packaged folksy quips strategery. He's got FU-level wealth and he's still workin' at 90 in spite of the Killian controversy. I need a new columnist's chair, and I don't know how much longer my ol' space heater is gonna' hold up.   

{Do you smell smoke?}

Which brings us to Duuude, Dude's little brother and one of the Stickies that reside here at Casa dé Chaos.   

Duuude, who only a few months ago was a tiny kid with a big heart (that he wore on his sleeve), is now a broad-shouldered young man with a topknot and a big heart (that he wears on his sleeve) who once tried out for the middle school football team but was defeated by a combination of 90° weather and a mild case of asthma. 

Now in high school, while lifting weights in an afterschool program he was recruited to play football next season for Hooterville High by the coach. 

A lot of kids young men who have been on the team since ninth grade are graduating this year and there's a dearth of volunteers clamoring to replace them. Nowadays, all sorts of parents would prefer that schools switch to playing flag football, even in Hooterville. 

So the coach is doing what a high school coach has gotta do, find replacements wherever he/she/they can. Duuude is training hard four days a week after school and loving it. He's also discovered what his mom uses Epsom salts for. 

The morning after we got six feet of snow, and before the dramatic temperature drop the next night, Duuuude and a buddy were out shoveling sidewalks and getting all the work they could handle. I thought it was only for the money but I later found it was homework assigned by the coach. 

It seems he also acts as a life coach who has taken it upon himself to instruct his charges in the sort of old-fashioned values and virtues, like community service, that I thought would get him censored by the teachers union or the school district.

"He's an older guy, like you, Poppa." 

It would seem that our tiny high school could teach our local mid-sized college some big lessons. 

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

P.S.1 As I put the finishing touches on this missive a new winter weather advisory is in effect. As my cursor hovers over the publish button there's an additional three feet of snow on Hooterville's sidewalks.

P.S.2 Apropos of nothing above, recently some world-class economists released a meta-study, a study of studies, that concludes that lockdowns didn't do much to stop the spread of Wuflu, but did cause a great deal of collateral damage. 

This story has received almost no coverage by our (alleged) news media. 

Scroll down to share this column/access oldies. If you enjoy my work, and no advertising, please consider buying me a coffee via PayPal/credit-debit card.    

Feel free to comment and set me straight on Cranky's Facebook page. I post my latest columns on Saturdays, other things other days. Cranky don't tweet.