Bateman: Making the most of the upcoming winter

By Oliver Bateman

Now that we’re three weeks into the fall semester, it’s time to start thinking about the… Now that we’re three weeks into the fall semester, it’s time to start thinking about the next big thing: Winter. Yes, before you can say Jack Robinson, Jack Frost will be nipping at your nose. Are you prepared to survive the Storm of the Century of the Year?

But maybe “survival” is the wrong word — it’s more appropriate for the back of your free “Arrival Survival” T-shirt than a column about Pittsburgh’s most-underrated season. No, as far as winter goes, you need to think along the lines of “thrive-al,” because we’re here to tell you that this will be the yuletide season when you beat the odds, kick the crud out of the evens, get acquainted with the Roman numerals and start romancing those wild and crazy imaginary numbers.

As should be done for any piece of serious academic writing, let’s start with a bunch of facts selected more-or-less at random. Among large U.S. cities, according to the Western Regional Climate Center, Pittsburgh ranks a mere sixth in terms of rainy or snowy days per year, with 152 — three fewer than our hated Rust Belt rival Cleveland, which comes in a staggering third on the same list. Goodness, just imagine that! Those poor saps at Case Western Reserve are suffering through three extra days of sleet and snow — days that we here at the University of Pittsburgh can spend sunning ourselves in those cute little two-pieces we bought on sale at H&M. And don’t even get us started on how bad life is in Buffalo: the unfortunate denizens of that heck-hole are staring down 166 precipitation-filled days without even the exploits of a dashing gridiron hero like “Big” Ben Roethlisberger or undeserving Madden 2011 cover model Peyton “Overrated” Hillis to ease their pain.

Now that you know how great you’ve got it, it’s time to devise a fail-safe plan for having the best winter not just in the history of winters, but in the history of forever. The place to kick things off is in your room, because that’s going to serve as your “home base” during this long, unforgiving ordeal. To get the party started, you’ll want to have a bunch of those $5-pizza-pie joints on speed-dial, a comfy hoodie and a pair of sweats that you won’t be changing out of for the next 152 days or so. In addition to these essentials, secure at least two of the major console gaming systems as well as every single installment of “Call of Duty,” and numerous tubs of hot cocoa (or chocolate whey protein, if you’re “hardgaining”).

Once you’ve acquired the necessary supplies, it’s time to hunker down like there’s no tomorrow — and there won’t be, because you’re going to sleep straight through it. In fact, you’re going to sleep through at least two entire days, thereby transforming that unbearable seven-day week into a much more tolerable five-day exercise in taking it easy. As soon as you’ve commenced this awesome new way of living, text your “BFF” to brag to him or her about how sweet it is:

u: hey sup

urbff: nm u

u: nm jus curlin up wit my hot cocoa whey + thermal sox + teh veronica mars dvd set ;p

urbff: lol kewl

See how jealous that “BFF” is? There’s no doubt that he or she would try to weather the storm like you, but it’s now too late. In fact, there’s a very good chance that your “BFF” probably got a flu shot and is thus unlikely to have a fantastic excuse like this one for missing weeks or even months of coursework:

Hey I’m real sick and someone I know is dying plus there are other things happening like my car is broke down and I have a bad flu with a fever of 109 degrees and I can’t get around because my knee is about to go in for surgery and also I work all the time especially during whenever this class is. Friday I think but possibly Thursday. One of them.

thanks a lot,


Those suits at Pitt might pride themselves on never declaring a snow day this year, but the joke’s on them — with a foolproof excuse like that, you can enjoy as many snow days as you want!

Yep, these next five or six months look like they’re going to be pretty, pretty cake for you. You’re “just chilling” in a place that’s less wet and more football-hero-filled than Buffalo or Cleveland. You’re wearing a loose hoodie and some thermal socks. You’re sipping hot cocoa/whey while you watch the entire first season of “Veronica Mars” — could life get any better?

It’s time to deck those halls and jingle those bells, true believers.

Oliver Lee Bateman is the chief meteorologist at the Moustache Weather Research Club of America. If you’re looking to turn that SAD you’ve been suffering from into HAPPY, visit the club at And if you’ve got a killer suggestion for a column that (hopefully) has something to do with hardgaining, $5 pies or “Call of Duty,” send it to [email protected].