Dusk. Day 376 of a torrential downpour of white vitriol, spat from the angry heavens. The camera pans in on a humble home in the Baker neighborhood of Denver, Colorado. A large purple recycling bin sits on the porch, filled to the brim with beer cans. It needs emptying, pathetically so. "Woe is me," thinks the purple recycling bin. "For experience tells me that the two idiots who live inside this house will continue to march to the liquor store despite the snow and guzzle their insipid beers, then stuff me full of their waste. At the very least, I suppose, the brown-haired gentleman who bought this house is incredibly handsome."
The purple recycling bin is right. Because the purple recycling bin is always right.
The camera then zooms over the enormous snow mounds in the front yard and through the window to reveal a charming scene: our two protagonists, What's So Funny and famed What's So Funny correspondent/roommate Monty, sitting on the couch watching a basketball game, eyes glazed over, jaws slack. Despite the howling wind and snow outside, they appear warm and comfortable in the living room.
Allen Iverson, the newest acquisition by the Denver Nuggets, makes an incredibly impressive drive to the hoop, spins through a crowd and lays a silky lay-up off the glass.
Monty turns his head and looks at What's So Funny.
"There is no way Allen Iverson could ever rape me," he says. "Because there is nothing that man could do that I wouldn't consent to."
What's So Funny says nothing.
I would like to tell you that this scene is from some screenplay that captures the utter ennui of a snowbound town, and that later in the script, there's a lot of awesome, Fargo-like grinding up of people -- but that would be a lie. And my mom told me never to lie. She also told me that I wasn't an accident and would be good at the saxophone, which are both lies, but that's beside the point. The truth is, this pathetic scene actually played itself out in my household last week.
There's a theory in comedy that I made up that goes "Rape jokes are the best jokes," and here Monty up and made a hilarious rape joke -- a man-on-man rape joke, even -- and I didn't so much as chuckle. It was at that moment that I realized the blizzard had finally broken me.
And it was also at that moment that I realized another truth: Blizzards make people fucking stupid. That's why you never see Eskimo CEOs.
When the first blizzard struck, a myriad of thoughts swirled through my head like soft flakes through the air. Wow, a snow day as an adult -- what a rare and interesting opportunity! Hey, maybe we'll have a white Christmas! Boy, I'm going to use this rare free time to get ahead in life, work on that short story I've been kicking around the old skull. How come I don't have an owl I can train to go pick up burritos?
Reasonable, cogent thoughts.
But as the snow kept coming, my thought pattern went something like this: blizzard, Iverson, Iverson, blizzard, shovel, shovel, Iverson, blizzard, booze, booze, booze, oh shit it's Christmas and I have to drive around in this crap and try to throw together some presents, oh my God it's my whole family, fucking crazy, booze, booze, booze, blizzard, Iverson, hey I think the snow is starting to melt, look, I think you can see the sun, psych!, blizzard, blizzard, booze, booze, booze.
I don't know what people remember most about the famed Blizzard of '82. People talk about cross-country skiing to the market, or jumping off their roofs into snowbanks. Maybe you caught the riveting footage of a two-year-old What's So Funny rescuing thirty Vietnamese orphans from a flaming school bus and then delivering the pregnant bus driver's child when the ambulance couldn't get through, and the driver then naming the child after Funny. Who's to say? But I can tell you what you should remember about this blizzard, which started out so fun and turned so fucking miserable: Iverson. In this time of great strife, utter boredom and a booze-fueled holocaust of brain cells, AI was there to show us the way. He was a light in the storm, a shiny, tattooed beacon in a swirling world of frosty chaos.
And though there may still be snow on the ground and the worst may not be over, as dark thoughts threaten to consume you, look to Allen Iverson to make things better. The heavens sent us snow, but they sent it with an Iverson chaser. Years from now, when people ask us about the Blizzard of '06 and how we made it through, the answer will be The Answer.
Just ask the purple recycling bin.
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.