Growing up in North Dakota I experienced many a rough winter. Tales of cars going off the icy roads and submerging in snowbanks, not to be found till spring (with their occupants frozen within) motivated most residents to carry at least one Emergency Kit with them. They might include some candy bars, candles, florescent streamer to tie to your antenna, a space blanket, a tin pie pan for melting snow for water, etc., etc. There were commercial ones and homemade ones, but you can bet that if the weather was bad I was thankful I had mine (including my sleeping bag, a shovel, and my own person repository of candy :)
But I don't drive here in Chicago and blizzards don't threaten my life like they did in North Dakota. Instead, something fouler and more loathsome threatens my livelihood.
Running out of Milk.
I am the consummate cerealist. Since I was a child I have considered cereal to be the forgotten pillar of the food pyramid and have, ever since, waged a personal campaign to consume such vast amounts of cereal that someone upstairs in corporate would notice and take pause.
Yes, I eat mucho cerealoso. And although I love other breakfast foods, there is nothing like the sound of ceramic and cereal clinking into my bowl in the the morning and getting out a heavy jug of cool refreshing milk from the fridge and mating the star-crossed lovers in my bowl. Cereal, O Cereal! Bound to the shelf, to the box, to isolation!! Milk, needing refrigeration, trapped in that cold tomb of darkness!!
K, I'll cut the melodrama...
Anyhow, like I said, I love other breakfast foods, but when I don't even have the option of eating cereal because we've run out of milk my day starts off a little gloomier.
Which brings us back to the horrors of venturing out into the wild during winter. Now, without a car, I must venture by foot or by bicycle. In those circumstances, I am my own Winter Survival Kit. My instincts fuel my hunt for milk, my will to survive heightens my senses, my wits protect me better than any florescent ribbon, and my love of milk and cereal wraps me in a cloak of passion warmer than any space blanket.
Into these perilous climes I sojourn undaunted. And seeing as how there is a blizzard on the forecast for Wednesday, I better make the journey today before the visibility drops to nil and arctic wookies come out of hiding like the Morlock beasts of the night from H.G. Well's Time Traveler.
By the way, if any of you are wondering why it is I think it's hilarious to turn my everyday misadventures into homeric epics, I can't tell you. I just think it's funny. I'm also inspired by the writings of Andrew Bisharat of Rock and Ice Magazine who writes the Tuesday Night Bouldering feature in every magazine. He molds and crafts his stories into modern epics that always leave my stomach aching from laughter and thankful that someone else pauses to think deeply, if not always seriously, about everyday life.