As the central point of Canada, we Winnipegers put up with quite a lot of... missguided... stereotypes. It's true that we do get to deal with cold days (like today) for more of the year than most people could ever want to, but there's just so much more to our cheery little piece of land than mere blizzards and slurpees at minus 40.
I was on the phone with a gentleman from California yesterday and he asked how the weather here was. His initial guesstimate, and I kid you not, was minus 70 degrees Celsius. Jokingly, I said, "Oh yeah! About that, give or take a few degrees!" I SAID THIS JOKINGLY. To which he replied, in complete and utter genuine concern, "Oh my god! Honey, why are you at work? Shouldn't your office be closed? That's ridiculous that they expect you to be there!" I kept waiting for him to laugh. Some sign that he was kidding. Nope. Nothing. Dead air on the other end of the line.
I did, in the end, put him out of his misery and tell him that no, in fact it was only minus 12 with the windchill.
This is what I imagine he thinks we would look like at minus 70.
Also, we know that our drivers suck. But don't think for a minute that that makes it okay for anyone else to rag on them. When a Winnipeger gets behind the wheel of a car, every other car on the road becomes the enemy. Please understand that I don't mean we go LOOKING for trouble, but as soon as we get behind that piece of machinery it's like we instantly become the host for Canada's Worst Driver. I know I'm guilty of this. There has been many a time where I have complained to my husband whilst driving, and many more where I have been alone in my car talking smack to the car that just cut me off. On my own? When there's no one to hear me? I can come up with some pretty smart remarks. When there's someone else in the car? All I can manage is:
Also- complaining about Winnipeg's pothole population? Hey now. Where would be without those potholes? Sometimes you need that feeling like your front tire just fell off- it's life affirming! Or hey! How else could you test your knee-jerk reaction to find out what word you would be most likely to say in a crisis? And come on. Think of all the jobs that are forever secure because bits of our cars constantly fall off into the black abyss of those sneak-attack holes in the ground! It's all about perspective. It could be worse. You could be this guy.
All I'm saying, is that Winnipegers know the dangers of living in this frozen and snowy slice of heaven. Maybe, someday, you'll believe that we like it here when you read our letters delivered by polar bear post. Carrier pigeons are impractical in this weather.
I'm sure I'll revisit this topic, and I know that this subject has been analyzed by scientists and reliable sources everywhere, but this was what was in my brain this morning. Feel free to weigh in :)