Thursday, January 12, 2012

Not riding up to South Janesville College; it may snow today in Chicago anyway

Youngest Son's baseball coach asked our son if he would cut short his Christmas break and return to South Janesville College this week to work concessions at a couple of basketball games. (South Janesville College is the fictitious name I've given to the place where Youngest Son really does attend school.) The coach said he would square it with the residence hall people.

We haven't seen much of Youngest Son during the holidays. He's slept through most of them. Most of his few waking hours have been spent away from home, visiting friends. One wonders what he does at his friends' homes: At our house, if we can get him out of bed, he hauls his carcass down to the couch and falls asleep again in front of some sports program on TV.

So, while we might miss Youngest Son were he to leave early, there was an equally good chance that we might not notice his absence at all. We gave our consent for his early departure.

The residence hall people, however, did not consent to his early arrival.

They were offended, apparently, that the baseball coach presumed to tell them that six kids would be coming in before Sunday's scheduled check-in. So the baseball coach went to Plan B: He asked each of the kids to email the residence hall people and ask -- ask nicely -- beg, if necessary.

Youngest Son complied.

That's almost redundant, looking at it. Of course, Youngest Son complied with a coach's request. A coach can tell a serious athlete to jump off a bridge and the athlete will most likely ask only "which bridge, Coach?" Parental requests to the same kid are processed, if at all, as a much lower priority.

But, though I am certain that Youngest Son's email groveled appropriately, the residence hall people demurred. We've already covered this with your coach, the answer came back, and you are not allowed in the dorm before Sunday at noon.

This was a good thing.

We were originally going to take the boy back yesterday. Yesterday the temperature here in Chicago reached the 50-degree mark again. It's been so Spring-like 'round these parts that trees and flowers are budding and my sinuses are killing me. But the drive would have been easy.

Plan B would have delayed Youngest Son's departure until today. Today we are supposed to get snow in Chicago -- and more is expected in the vicinity of SJC than here.

We've had precious little snow here this winter. This is fodder, I suppose, for the climate change alarmists, or it would have been, had they not made such dire predictions about the probable severity of this winter.

I can't complain -- much -- if it really does snow significantly today. If the weather really does turn, people who have lived in the Chicago area for decades will mysteriously forget everything they learned about winter driving and there will be accidents all over the area. But I wisely took the train this morning.

If I were obligated to make the Wisconsin run today, you could bet the mortgage money on it snowing a lot. When the residence hall people got all prickly about their prerogatives, I was spared the opportunity of testing that hypothesis. But we've had so little snow here this season, I won't be surprised if we get some even though I'm not driving.

Last night, Youngest Son said he was thinking about making the trip despite the dorm veto.

"There's about a 98% chance that they'd never even know I was there. The keys will work and there are no guards," he told me.

"That means there's also at least a 2% chance that they'd catch you and put you out on your ear."

"Yes," he admitted. "We'd have a problem then."


"You'd have to come pick me up."

"No," I said. "You'd just have a problem."

I laughed. He made a rude gesture. Fortunately, his mother didn't see it.

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