SLIGHTLY OFF THE MARK
Well, it didn’t work this time. My system didn’t work, and as a result, the Blizzard of ’14 was all my fault.
I know what you’re thinking: “Mark, can you be so egotistical as to brag that you affected the weather?”
People, it’s not bragging when it’s a bad thing. It would be like somebody bragging that they take drugs and commit crimes. Maybe that was a bad example, considering it’s not unheard of for people in Hollywood to commit Charlie Sheenisms.
If I claim to have brought on spring singlehandedly with my mind, then you can stage an intervention. Meanwhile, the fact remains that the Blizzard of ’14 was directly caused by Hunter’s Law of Inverse Lousy Predictions Squared.
As far as I know it wasn’t technically a blizzard where I live, by the way, although it was declared that one county to the west. “Blizzard” just sounds cooler than “snowstorm”, in the same way “tornado” sounds cooler than “straight line winds”. There’s something oddly human about insisting you have the worst weather, which I guess is kind of bragging about bad things.
“You may have a few drifts, but our blizzard buried semis! By the way, my gallstone was way bigger than your gallstone and my boss is way meaner than yours. And our snow is colder.”
Anyway, for the last ten years or so I’ve been predicting a bad winter. Not for this year – for all those years, every year. “It’s gonna be a bad one this year,” I’d say. “I feel it in my gut.”
And every year, that feeling in my gut turned out to be from gorging myself every December on Lions Club citrus.
We kept having mild winters, instead. (“Mild” sometimes meant ice instead of snow. It’s all relative.) This is because of Hunter’s Law of Predictions, which states, “Mark Hunter isn’t very good at making predictions.” It’s a simple rule.
And I was happy with that, because, as all 14 of my regular readers know, I hate winter. I hate winter so much that I’m only going to live around here in the summertime after I’m rich, which should happen any second now. So every year I said “This is the year they’re going to name “The Godzilla of Winters”, and every year I was wrong. (The Godzilla of Winters breathes sub-zero snow, instead of fire. Also, he slides over Tokyo with giant ice skates.)
But I forgot the flipside, Hunter’s Law of Inverse Lousy Predictions, which reads:
“Whenever Mark Hunter is right about a prediction, it’s something bad.”
For instance, I correctly predicted the most recent economic recession. I correctly predicted that China was going to start flexing its military muscles and mess with its neighbors. I correctly predicted that my lawnmower would either not start in the spring or break in early summer … every year since 1988.
To make matters worse, there’s also Hunter’s Law of Inverse Lousy Predictions Squared. HLILPS, which is pronounced “Hlilips”, clearly states: “If Mark Hunter makes a prediction because he wants to be wrong, sooner or later he will be right”.
It gets complicated. The weather example is that I predict weather from the tenth level of Hell (which is where they keep the deep freezes, ice cream supplies, and politicians with frozen hearts). The original law – Lousy Predictions – kicks in, and so we have (relatively) nice weather.
But then, sooner or later, someone or something figures out I’m messing with them. Karma, Murphy, Mother Nature, Al Gore, whatever. Then the Law’s inversely square part kicks in, and I’m left holding the bag. By which I mean, I’m left holding the snow shovel.
It’s a given, at that point, that I’ll be suffering from my chronic back pain, sinus infection, and tendonitis just when the driveway is yelling “shovel me!” I’ll remember that my boots aren’t insulated, my gloves are too thin, and that even at 5 degrees I can sweat under my long underwear, a situation that ironically can lead to hypothermia.
I’ll also be reminded that there are a lot of great people out there, personified by whoever used a snow blower on my sidewalk after our first storm, and whoever else has been running a snow plow through my driveway after every snowfall so far this season.
Much as I still hate winter, that kind of thing makes me feel a lot better.
And who could have predicted that?