After our recent bank robbery hijinks (#freederek), we here at the Clam started to realize something. We’ve all gone fucking straight crazynuts in this town. This seems to have been concentrated in not only bizarre crimes – like that dude who decided he didn’t like rap music, so he shot a bouncer in the leg (apparently missing the inherent irony) – but also our questionable piloting of vehicles. First, some dude crashes into the front of Poseidon’s. Then on Saturday someone drove their damn car right off the fish pier (quite possibly in search of Poseidon).
How did any of these completely illogical things even happen? How was the van driver going so fast that he could have extended his arm into the pizza oven and come back with a delicious pizza without leaving his seat? How did two girls NOT SEE THE END OF THE FUCKING FISH PIER? Headlights exist, right? While my esteemed colleague, one Mr. James Dowd, hypothesizes that it’s acute cases of “the brain worms”, I think I know what’s causing this, as a certified internet sociologist (certification pending).
Pibloktoq. Arctic hysteria.
Although mostly mythical and probably caused by a toxic amount of Vitamin A in the succulent organ meat consumed by indiginous populations within the Arctic circle, I submit anyway that Arctic Fever is really what’s causing the temporary bouts of insanity we’re seeing around Gloucester. It’s truly the only reasonable explanation for this:
Sure, it could be argued that the prime time for all the goddamn crazy to be happening was early February. But I don’t think any of us had time to go crazy – we were all in massive survival mode. During the last few months, you had roughly twenty fucking minutes between colossal, multi-day snowstorms to get to Market Basket and hope they still had some damn rotisserie chicken so your children stop getting that murderous look in their eyes for suggesting they have another can of baked beans from the pantry. It was like a Laura Ingalls Wilder book, but with more nip bottles and abandoned cars and less of that hottie Almanzo.
Finally, weeks later, we’re now cautiously emerging from the shellshock of 10 feet of snow piled everywhere, and the constant beeping of DPW trucks has stopped haunting us in our sleep. There’s still an entire regular-sized picnic table buried in snow in my yard. Not even the top is poking out. But the onslaught of snow has passed, and our future goal of “not being in a freezing, precipitous hellscape stuck inside with feral children” is looking reachable. Our brains are kind of broken – everything happened fast, and nothing seemed unbelievable anymore. Not the National Guard showing up, not the dissapearance of 8′ fences, not the complete failure of our public transportation system, our newly appointed mayor telling us to stay inside, or white people jumping out of 2nd story windows for the fucking hell of it (#1 sign of Pibloqtoq, according to Marty Walsh). “What if this never ends,” I asked, mostly to the blank wall in front of me. “What if my children just hit me with nerf darts and argue over Mario Kart characters for the rest of my life, and this snow never melts? What if this is our life now, forever?” It seemed plausible. Eminently plausible.
So naturally, now is when we’re seeing the worst of the Pibloktoq. The long-term effects of winter on our citizenry are slowly appearing, mostly in the form of ill-thought-out felonies. We can drive our cars again and be relatively sure we can find a parking space sorta near where we’re going. Shifting out of immediate survival mode, that’s when the shit really hits the fan.
But if my supposition is true, what can we do about it? Not much. Like a seizure or a jello shot from the House of Mitch, we just have to endure it and move on.
And how next will it manifest itself? A massive, shoe-throwing ladyfight outside the Crow’s Nest? Outside the Shalin Liu? Will some obese neckbeard attempt to rob the post office wearing juggalo makeup and get winded trying to run up Dale Avenue with a sack of Easter-themed stamps? Will someone drive their van down the Dogbar breakwater because they swore that was the correct way to get to Midori?
Who the fuck knows. I cut out organ meats from my diet, so I’m immune. Good luck to the rest of you.