It seemed I might be able to change my socks two days in a row, but then Arctic air crept in on big bear claws and pushed the swamp back into the deep freeze. Swamp Rabbit, flipping out from cabin fever, chugged Wild Turkey and ranted, convinced the new ice age had arrived via something called the solar cortex, or the polar Gore-Tex. The name kept changing, but whatever he was going on about sounded ominous.
“I’m telling you, it ain’t natural,” he shouted from next to the wood stove. “This here roller duplex gonna be the end of us.”
Noticing he’d been online, I checked the screen:
…Arctic air is normally penned in at the roof of the world by a powerful circular wind called the polar vortex, said Dim Coumou, a senior scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) near Berlin. When the vortex weakens, the air starts heading southwards, bringing exceptional snow and chill to middle latitudes. The weather shift is also helped by changes in a high altitude wind called the jet stream…
The phrase “polar vortex’ was all over the Internet, like a new pop star or a contagious disease. “Reminds me of you,” I said to the rabbit. “You’re sort of locked in the same loop, round and round, but then you hit the Wild Turkey and start meandering south. You’d be in Georgia by now if you weren’t trapped by the cold.”
“Ain’t no sense to it, the rodent replied. “How come the cortex is so weak, and why ain’t the jet stream doin’ its job?”
I tried to explain that scientists aren’t yet sure of exact cause and effect, only that extremes of temperature down here are becoming more common as the Arctic grows warmer. Then I told him to fetch more wood for the stove while I went outside the swamp to steal more food.
He guzzled bourbon and said, “Why bother? It’s the end of the world.”
“Then I’ll just get food for me,” I replied, opening the door of the shack.
“Git me some veggies or somethin’,” he said, after an apparent change of heart. “Just don’t bring back no more swine.”