Canadians love to talk about the weather - always have, and always will. It's what we do. We have always been passionate about the weather, but we have never been hysterical about the weather, and certainly we have never been afraid of the weather. But suddenly, that seems to be changing.
Now first, I thought this was a Toronto thing. Because when you move to Toronto you realize pretty quick that when it comes to the weather there are two parallel universes. There's what you hear about in the media, and then there's what you see out your window. You can wake up and turn on the news and you can see a lead story about a snow storm that slammed the city, how there were three-hundred accidents between 5 and 9 AM, how no flights took off. And the reporter on the scene is so panicked he sounds like he's reporting live from the bottom of a collapsed mine shaft.
And you think, "Oh my God, I had no idea, those poor people." But then you realize: hang on, I'm in Toronto, then you look out the window, there's three centimetres of snow on the ground and the kid across the street is walking his dog in his T-shirt. And you realize, there was no snow storm. There was no weather bomb. There were flurries. And then, it got windy and then the entire city ground to a halt.
It's why I invented the word "Torontarded." Good word, comes in handy, believe me. But before the rest of the country gets all cocky, know this: weather hysteria is spreading across this nation like some sort of demented low pressure system.We don't have forecasts anymore - we have weathertainment. And it's all designed to scare the hell out of you.
Cold weather and snow is now reported like a plague of locusts or raining frogs. Problem is, it's not a sign of a coming apocalypse - it's just business as usual in Canada. But tell that to the crowd at the Weather Network. You listen to them for five minutes, you wouldn't leave the house for five months.
This is the true north strong and free, and cold, and wet, and icy, and dark - sometimes all at once. It's why God invented long johns. This is Canada. We have winter. Life sucks, get a toque. And embrace it.
Rick Mercer, truly the funniest man on TV these days.