NEWTS! Join us!

by Terry Hargrove

I am the most boring person I know. Oh, I’m not complaining, I’m bragging. But it’s not easy being boring. It requires vigilance and constant attention to detect possible danger. Let me explain.

Yesterday, my wife said to me, “Do you know what I’d really like to do?”

“I give up. What would you really like to do?” My danger sense was tingling.

“I’d really like to go to Rockefeller Center.”

“You’ve already been to Rockefeller Center,” I said. That was easy.

“But you haven’t,” she replied. “I think that we should all go to Rockefeller Center.”

“Wait, wait,” I countered. “When you say ‘I’d really like to go see Rockefeller Center,’ what you really mean is ‘I’d really like to see my husband see Rockefeller Center.’ That’s not the same thing at all. I don’t want to see Rockefeller Center, not in person anyway. I see it every Thursday night on TV.”

“If I didn’t drag you out of this house occasionally, we would never do anything.”

“You don’t have to thank me,” I replied. “I know how great it is.”

“It’s not great at all,” she said. That was when Joey came into the room. He was dressed in a feather.

“Boom shacka lacka lacka, boom!” he sang.

“Have you noticed that our son seems to be channeling the spirit of the 1940s burlesque dancer?” I asked.

“I have noticed,” she said. “This is what comes from staying inside for two months. At least he’s doing something. We should get him into dance class. But back to my original proposition, I think the three of us should get on the train to Grand Central Station and take a taxi to Rockefeller Center. It’ll be fun.”

“I don’t know,” I said. “It seems to me there’s a potential for danger in all this. My task in life is to protect my family from danger, which makes me think the dancing classes aren’t such a good idea, what with middle school being only 4 years away.”

That’s me in a nutshell: looking for danger and heading post haste in the opposite direction. I think that’s normal. I think people who intentionally drive into tornadoes are idiots. Still, in this comfortable life I have, while there is no danger there is also no adventure. And that’s not something to brag about.

Oh, you know how this turned out. Even now I’m checking out train prices and moving money from savings and checking. But I’m also thinking. I like to think. It requires little if any movement, and it doesn’t cost a thing. It’s the only dangerous enterprise I enjoy. And what I am thinking is that it might be possible to have adventure without danger. Sort of an anti-Hemingway adventure. That’s when I had my idea about the team.

I am forming a non-extreme weather team. That extreme weather stuff has been done to death (or if it hasn’t, just wait). But a team of highly trained non-extreme weather chasers, now that’s an idea. It didn’t take long until I had three team members. Frank, who has shared with me in confidence that he has a deathly fear of frost, joined right up. Bruce, who is unnerved when the wind gusts above 15 mph and who has a truck (the non-extreme machine) is the second member. Then there is the kid. I don’t know the kid’s name, but he has a camcorder and claims that YouTube can make us all famous.

We are the NEWTS, non-extreme weather team, I don’t know, chasers or stalkers or something. How non-extreme are we? We’re not going anywhere today. I suggested we wait until the non-extreme weather comes here. That would save some gas money, and if you take the winter months out, there is no place where the weather is less extreme than Connecticut.

We’re planning on taking the team out in late April, so if your town suffers from non-extreme weather, give us a call. Most of the snow will have melted by then I hope. Now, as a team of slightly trained professionals who are on the lookout for specific weather conditions, I feel is important to list a few phenomenon that we will be particularly interested in:

  • the partly cloudy day
  • widely-scattered, light showers
  • light and variable winds
  • frost watches
  • medium fog advisories

But non-extreme weather also has a human side. So we will be conducting interviews with regular people who will tell us how non-extreme weather has affected their lives.

But first things first. It is winter and I have to use this domain name I just purchased. So tonight, the team and I will go on a hunt for snow accumulations of less than 1 inch. The thrill of the chase has begun to seep into me. I need to get that checked out. I just hope we aren’t in the field when the weather authorities unexpectedly issue a winter weather advisory. We’re adventurous, but we aren’t stupid.

Updates, if we survive, as they become available. Does anybody know what the weather in New York City is going to be like this weekend? I’d better look that up.

Categories: Funny

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3 replies »

  1. Manhattan could get dicey this weekend. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there is a 30 percent chance of light snow in the city Saturday night and Sunday morning. I suppose if you get all your non-extremeness done Friday night – Saturday morning you could be okay. Otherwise that nameless child could end up filming your final, screaming moments as soft, swirling snowflakes relentless batter the pick-up.

  2. Come to New Zealand for a couple of months. Here in Auckland, it’s currently 24 degrees (that’s 75 degrees in American), and cloudy, with, ooh, let’s say a good 60% chance of rain within the next eight hours.

    It’s the perfect winter holiday spot for you.