The Weather

As a Midwesterner, I am deeply unimpressed with this nuclear winter

I swear, you people are such wimps.

Every day it seems someone in this bunker wants to whine about how, “almost everyone on earth is dead,” and, “this is the end of civilization,” and, “whaaaa! it’s so cold I’m going to die whaaaa!” Well I can’t really argue the first two points, but dangit, this nuclear winter really isn’t that bad compared to where I grew up in Iowa!

In Dubuque four feet of grey snow with endless dark skies and 80 mph arctic gusts is more or less just the price of doing business during the winter. We just grit our teeth and keep going. Heck most of us kind of like it. We’re cold-tempered that waymost of us descend from Scandinavia. You certainly don’t see roving bands of armed gangs murdering each other for gasoline like these people out here. It’s just embarrassing, the way you east coasters lose your composure.

Back in Dubuque we know how to drive in winter weather. I look out at the interstate here and it is littered with abandoned and wrecked vehicles. A few of those MAY have been caused by the initial blast, but my point stands: you east coasters can’t drive worth a dang in anything other than perfect conditions.

Take a picture of this interstate clogged with broken cars and put it on a postcard: “Welcome to the east coast. The slightest bit of snow or blinding light will cause us to careen into a ditch.”

Back in Iowa, it gets so cold, it hurts to even breathe. I mean, sure, it does sometimes hurt to breathe here, but I’m pretty sure that’s not from the cold, it’s from all the dust particles and the radiation.

Oh, and don’t get me started on the darn schools. I got a good look at our neighborhood the other day as I was foraging for food and fueland the roads were fine! This kind of scenario back in Dubuque maybe would have earned us a one-hour delay. Sure our basic infrastructure has been permanently disrupted, but for darn’s sake, there are literally dozens of kids who are still alive and need their education! They’ve already missed almost six months of classthere’s no way this doesn’t affect their standardized test scores!

I can list on one hand the times in my life when I have thought to myself, this is too coldand this nuclear winter doesn’t even crack my top twenty. I once played football in Des Moine in mid-December without long sleeves. Now that was coldmakes this shit look like Palm freakin Beach.

And everyone’s lost what little sense of humor they have! In the Midwest you grow up knowing that everyone’s going through the same winter as you and you just have to find reasons to smile. Not here, man. This morning I was shoveling the stoop to our bunker and a father and son passed by pushing a shopping cart with their belongings. I make a crack about how it’s good tanning weather, and this guy just glares at me and stoically shook his head. Real positivity there, guy! Good luck surviving this post apocalyptic wasteland with that attitude!

And for the last time, let’s stop with the whole, “but people are literally freezing to death in their sleep because it’s so horribly cold.” I feel like a broken record, so I’m going to say this nice and slow: there’s this magical thing called wearing layers! Look at me, I’m wearing long underwear, flannel, a down parka, more flannel that I took from my friend Jack when he died, then a hazmat suit, and then a ski suit over all of that. Add a trusty trapper hat and I’m good to go! When I die, it will be from radiation exposure or scurvy or from being cannibalized by one of the roving gangs — not from the cold like you east coast pansies.

Thomas Scott lives in Winchester, Virginia.