For a long time, scientists across the country have noticed that of all species, white rats are the most likely to end up behind bars; that white blood cells perform better on standardized tests than red ones; and that snow, also, has a certain blank, whitewashed quality not unlike Mel Gibson’s initial DUI arrest report. Coincidentally, they’ve also found there to be a strong statistical correlation between falling temperatures and the falling of snow, but up until now there has been no cause for alarm.
Only recently has the situation become ridiculous, with great sheets of ice grinding inexorably south, engulfing everything in their path, lowering real estate values and blocking traffic. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Events that could best be described as “unusual” have been reported year-round in every part of the country.
In Septic, Texas, temperatures approached 100 below zero, and the inhabitants of this small, rugged town found that pets and relatives froze solid if left outside for more than three minutes, and had to be thawed for hours before they could be eaten.
Vacationers at a southern California resort awoke one morning after a wild party to find that 20 feet of snow had fallen overnight. Wisely deciding to sleep it off, they rose the next day and discovered that not only had the snow not gone away, but that another 10 feet had fallen. Their stories from this point on are mostly unintelligible, but it seems that “huge woolly elephants” were seen roaming the area, sometimes being chased by “little Orientals in fur suits.” All the indications are that it was some party!
On the lighter side, a particularly large Midwestern blizzard completely buried Gary, Indiana. The city was declared a disaster area, but federal officials were embarrassed to discover that the same designation had been applied 20 years before on general principles and had never been rescinded. National Guard units immediately cordoned off the area, and would not let anyone in or out unless they could name the first 16 Presidents.
Everyone’s asking: Is this the beginning of a new ice age, or just a sudden cold snap? Professor Cyrus Cumulus, the noted meteorologist, believes that the advancing ice will blanket the world, causing massive crop failures but assuring plenty of good skiing for the next 10,000 years. Dr. Hugo P. Astrolabe, on the other hand, says we are merely experiencing “a little cool weather,” which he claims is caused by careless consumers leaving their refrigerator doors open too long.
The good doctor goes on to agree with his research partner — the world’s greatest climatologist, Al Gore — that the depletion of the ozone layer has already reversed the cooling trend and will soon melt the polar ice caps and make the oceans boil away. However, he parts ways with Mr. Gore on the notion that there will be an invasion of giant crabs that will try to conquer Earth, and will only be stopped when they can be “coaxed into large frying pans full of melted butter.”
Maybe the fifth ice age is on the way and maybe it isn’t (four, five — who’s counting?). Or maybe the Earth is melting to the core and the giant crabs are going to get us. I don’t really care, because in either case I’m not bothering to pack a lunch.