Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

No whining about the weather

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Good morning, Winnipeg. How's it going?

Excuse me! Did you just say what I think you just said? It's a little too hot for you? You don't like feeling all sweaty and clammy?

Are you kidding me, Winnipeg? Well, let's get one thing straight, shall we? The Your Weekend Weather column is not going to sit here quietly and listen to you complain about how hot it's getting!

Seriously, suck it up, Buttercup! We have spent the past eight months listening to you complain, moan, sniffle and snort about the worst (very bad word) winter in more than 100 years, and we are not going to stand for any snivelling now that the mercury is FINALLY starting to rise.

After that winter, no one in these parts is allowed to say a single negative word about hot, sunny weather. To be blunt: If Mother Nature gives you a blistering day, you are not only going to take it, you are going to (another bad word) enjoy it!

Take your inspiration from the 1978 comedy classic Animal House, especially the famous scene wherein a young Kevin Bacon is forced to grab his ankles while some cloaked bozo whacks him on the butt for a fraternity initiation.

With every stroke of the paddle, the young pledge portrayed by Bacon grunts the now legendary phrase: "Thank you, sir, may I have another?"

Which is exactly what we want you to say whenever we are lucky enough to get one of those sweltering days wherein the only way to survive is to park your heavily perspiring body on a patio, raise the umbrella and order a round of ice-cold banana daiquiris, if you catch our general drift.

Speaking of which, Environment Canada says it is going to be jungle-style hot today, with mostly sunny skies and a scorching daytime high of -- start pouring those daiquiris -- 30 C, nine degrees above the normal high of 21 C and the hottest temperature we've seen in these parts for roughly eight months.

NOT THAT WE ARE COMPLAINING, WINNIPEG! No, we are just reporting the facts, so you can be appropriately thankful. On Sunday, it will be a tiny bit cooler -- 23 C -- and there's a 60 per cent chance of showers. In fact, much of next week will be like a nice bowl of porridge -- warm and wet.

There's a 30 per cent chance of rain Tuesday and Wednesday, but the mercury should be around normal or slightly above almost every day. To prove to the Weather Gods we are thankful, let's slather on some sunscreen and get outside this weekend to show how grateful we are to be perspiring like Mike Tyson at a Grade 3 spelling bee.

For starters, head down to centre court at The Forks Market (Yes, they probably have a wide selection of daiquiris) today and Sunday for the Winnipeg International Writers Festival Book Sale, wherein hard-cover books go for $5, soft-covers for $2 and sale items for $1. You can hold the books over your heads for shade. Again, not complaining!

And do not let a little precipitation prevent you from taking in some swell activities Sunday, because -- and this comes from our heart -- you are not made from sugar, Winnipeg. You are definitely going to want to grab the kids and an assortment of stuffed animals and head to Assiniboine Park from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the 28th annual Children's Hospital Foundation Teddy Bears Picnic.

If your favourite teddy has sustained a serious fluff-related injury, the nice medics at the picnic will fix it up as right as rain, which, incidentally, is probably what you will experience at the picnic, along with some great music, food and frolicking.

What we personally urge you to do Sunday morning is march down to Shaw Park, home of the Winnipeg Goldeyes, and take part in the first-ever Do it for Dads Step Up Winnipeg event, sponsored by Safeway, which will be raising cash and awareness for Prostate Cancer Canada.

I will be there, microphone in hand, to root you on as you help raise funds by striding briskly up and down 21 sections of stairs, with roughly 38 steps per section, with all the proceeds going to fight prostate cancer, which will affect a terrifying one in seven men in their lifetimes. The fun starts at 10 a.m., and it's just $35 to register to do the steps and save lives.

Remember, kids, no matter how hot it gets out there, take a moment to look towards the sky and offer this silent prayer: "Thank you, sir, may I have another?"


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 24, 2014 A2

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