What’s white and grey and blue all over?

This week, the Dope is taking a break from his column, turning it over to his alter ego, The Poet Laureate of Lakeview Deli — Rober Frostbite.

Geoffrey Chaucer, the best known poet

In English history,

Wrote a line, endlessly quoted,

That to me’s a mystery.

It’s from his most famous work,

“The Canterbury Tales,”

Which, compared to Casey at the Bat,

It sure and sadly pales.

I read it back in high school,

“Twas required that I do.

For if I’d had an option,

I’d’ve read Argosy or True.

Of the very poem itself,

I understood precious little,

And the stuff I comprehended,

I cared not a fig or fiddle.

The only thing I remember

Was the poem’s opening line,

Which is the one I earlier mentioned

Is that mystery of mine.

“April is the cruelest month,”

That is the line in full.

But to me, living in the Blue Line,

It’s all a load of bull.

This winter hasn’t been

Like those of long ago.

Where each day it snowed ten feet at least

And each night was 20 below.

Still, this winter has been hard enough

To make us pay our dues,

And give me a full-fledged case

Of them long cold winter blues.

While an hour in minus-thirty

Is something that can kill,

Endless months of single digits

Gave me a monstrous heating bill.

We haven’t gone without power

Or been nailed by a major storm,

But each day since mid-October

I’ve struggled to stay warm.

I’m swathed in countless layers,

Of wool, from head to toe.

Atop, it’s toque and thick sweater,

With long johns and Sorels below.

The skies are mostly overcast,

A dull and dark slate grey,

And have stayed that way since fall,

Day after gloomy day.

While it’s spring training time from Philly,

To southern Idaho,

The only seasonal activity here

Is driving on ice and snow.

All of this has affected

Me and the folks of My Home Town.

It’s a simple fact of living here:

Cabin Fever’s got us down.

I’ve gone in the woods, I’ve hiked and skied,

And done all sorts of winter stuff,

But inevitably there comes a time

When ya say enough’s enough!

As a bunch of local snowbirds

Are tanning in Cocoa Beach,

I — nattily attired in my union suit —

Am eating everything in reach.

First a gigantic bag of Smart Food,

Next, a Snickers bar or three,

Then a trip downtown to Stewart’s

For a pint of Cherries Jubilee.

It’s supposed to give me solace,

Comfort and peace of mind,

But the only thing that settles

Is the lard in my behind.

The next morning, when I wake up,

O’erstuffed, stiff and lame,

I know while yesterday was a bummer,

Today will be the same.

But I try to keep my spirits up,

I try not to become bereft,

Especially since I know full well

We’ve got a month of winter left.

But — Finally! — spring will come

And make our spirits soar sky-high,

Even though it may not happen

Till mid or late-July.

So can April be the cruelest month?

Is that consistent with the facts?

No. It just shows that Geoffrey Chaucer

Never wintered in the ‘Dacks.


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