The results are in.

The weather is screwy. 

In jest, my dad used to blame abnormal weather patterns on the Chinese. He even said they might be tinkering with gravity. But the problem is closer to home. Not only are the members of the New Conservative Neanderthal Party (NCNP) trying to sabotage the economy with their myopic and miserly ways, they’re also messing with the weather. National Union of Friendly Americans (NUFA) meteorologists have concluded that the persistent drought and lack of snow across Minnesota is the direct result of continued curmudgeonly actions by the stick-in-the-mud NCNP. 

Cause and effect has been carefully monitored and the data has been certified by the Minnesota Department of Weights and Measures.

Both sociological and political ignorance on the part of the NCNP is not only having an effect on the winter weather it is also causing a melancholia in the population, a population not usually impacted significantly by long winter nights and constant blowing snow.

There is no snow and winter has barely caused a ripple. November and December have nearly passed. A mere night or two of below zero temperatures, even in the muskegs of Embarrass, is cause for great concern. People across northern Minnesota brace for winter, expect the worst and gamely put a shoulder into 100 inches of snow and 40 below. Given the present conditions people should be dancing in the relatively balmy streets. Instead there is melancholia, confusion and the tears of little children who can’t make a snow angel or build a shrimpy snowman in the backyard. There is no frostbite. Heck, there is barely even frost.

Shoulders are hunched and the mood is dour.

And the new year is just around the corner.

After watching the adversarial behavior of the NCNP over the past three years you can draw the conclusion that nothing will change on their part, even after Santa left lumps of coal in their stockings.

Studies have proven that their DNA is more closely related to a certain species of Grinch than it is to modern homo sapiens.

Given those facts it has been determined that NUFA sponsored and regulated use of the snow dance is the only weapon we have against such intransigence and drought.

The snow dance is the secret weapon that is called upon sparingly because of its indomitable spirit--and the fact that if you get it wrong you can really be in a heap of trouble.

NUFA meteorologists learned the incantation many years ago when they were mere boys helping out at the local rink. The rink always had the best ice this side of Saskatoon, impeccable ice, ice like beautiful glass. Skate blades sang and the breeze was always at your back when you skated on that rink. Snow was piled high along the boards and when you shot the puck it soared like an eagle toward the net.

The boys always noted that there wasn’t as much snow at the other rinks.

That was because of the snow dance.

The ice was the gift of a man named Jim and he had the curious ability to be able to tell the weather by the look of the clouds and the few leaves still stuck to the trees and the movement of conservatives across the political landscape. He drove an old truck that had a visor over the front windshield. Jim had a face like an old chopper mitt, with wool pants suspendered near his armpits and wool shirts buttoned to his chin.  

He was deft with the fire hose used to flood the rink, spreading a fine mist like he was leading an orchestra and it left a surface so smooth even a Zamboni couldn’t match it.

One particularly early snowless winter, apparently when the New Conservative Neanderthal Party was just a young irrational political creature hellbent on ruining our society, Jim read the leaves and told us to gather around.

“I’m going to let you in on something that my ancestors have known since before the turtle became the moon,” he said.

“You aren’t going to change how some people think and in order to offset that you’ll have to make snow or we won’t have a place called Minnesota anymore. Some people don’t seem to care if we have a place called Minnesota anymore. It might as well be the same as any other place, just like money is the same all over the place.”

The young NUFA members followed Jim’s instructions, followed the dance steps left and right and right and left, did the chants and offerings and by golly by the time the lights were turned off at the rink that night it began to snow.

Jim told the boys to meet him at the rink early in the morning.

Snow fell throughout the night and the next day when the young NUFA members had trudged their way through the woods and across the pond and over the hill to the rink, skates hung on their sticks over their shoulders, Jim was there shoveling a path from the warming house to the rink. 

It was a miracle.

The rink glowed, clean as a whistle. All that snow, at least a foot of powder, and not a snowflake had fallen on the fresh ice. The boys quickly finished their shoveling chores around the warming house and Jim told them to lace up the skates and grab the pucks and sticks and get out there and fly across that rink.

Everyone was a Bobby Orr, a Jean Beliveau and Rocket Richard.

Jim later told the young NUFA members to be careful with the snow dance, that it could go awry and you might end up with rain in the winter for crying out loud. Rain. In the winter. 

You may have noticed that such things have occurred in recent winters. Rain. In the winter. Call those rookie mistakes. More young NUFA members are learning the snow dance all the time and on occasion, yes, there are a few slip ups, a few missteps.

NUFA can’t be blamed for every winter rain, however.

Intransigent thought and climate change are hard to keep up with as the planet warms and conservatives gather and refuse to be civil.

The snow dance is the best defense. 

It will be applied soon.

It may be the last best hope for a fast warming planet.