Yes, it’s cold outside. Really cold. But too cold for school? Ridiculous. I grew up in the Northeast, and I can’t remember ever having school cancelled except when it snowed heavily. If it was this cold outside, Mom would put us in our long underwear (she called them “gatkes”), several other layers of clothing, gloves, and one of those knit hat/ski mask combos. Then we were sent out the door to wait for the bus or — when I got to high school — hoof it the mile or so to classes. Sure, we looked like Randy, the younger brother in “A Christmas Story” who couldn’t put his arms down, but the elements were not gonna get in the way of our education. Besides, the school building had heat! By the way, I don’t recall my daughter’s schools here in St. Louis ever closing because of the temperature, either. Cold air should not be a barrier to human movement, particularly if you’re being transported in a vehicle (car or bus) that shields you from the wind and keeps you relatively warm.
Speaking of cold, my wife and I are dealing with a bit of a local crisis in that regard. First, one frozen custard place not far from our house (Sheridan’s) went out of business last fall. Then, the other one — Silky’s, which we preferred — closed its nearby location for the winter, although it promises to re-open in March. That leaves us with zero frozen custard options and no ice cream parlors in our general vicinity. And you think you’re having a tough winter.
One of the big stories in St. Louis for the last week involves an off-duty female police officer and two on-duty male cops. The three of them met at the home of one of the male cops, which is not within the district the two guys were supposed to be patrolling. Something untoward happened and the woman ended up dead from a shot to the chest. The guys claim they were playing Russian roulette, but no one believes that cover story. There are insinuations about a menage a trois or something more sinister, but the details are sketchy, which means the rumor mill is turned on full. My favorite part of the story was when I saw a local TV reporter do a package about the incident. Towards the end, it included a quote from a police union official asking that until the investigation is complete, the public respect the privacy of the dead female cop and her family. Smash cut to the reporter immediately adding, “I’ll keep looking into this and report all the details as soon as I find them.” So much for respecting privacy.
There’s been a lot of hand-wringing among liberals upset that former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is considering running for president as an independent. The belief is that such a third-party run would drain votes from whoever the Democrat candidate is. While that may be true, you don’t have much to worry about. Schultz may have a billionaire’s ego, but he’s quickly finding out he’s not that popular. It’s one thing to convince people to pay $5 for a cup of coffee. It’s quite another to believe you can be elected president in modern America without a hint of charisma. Schultz has less personality than a mocha frappuccino. When he’s done with his book tour — this couldn’t possibly be a publicity gambit to sell more copies of his autobiography, could it? — he’ll withdraw his name from consideration and cancel any plans to run. Mark my words.