From High Atop the Hatcam, Video of Dallas' #SLEETSHOW2015

Yesterday during the Temporary Local End Times, when the city was brought to its knees by half an inch of slush and temperatures plunging into the 20s (please don't ever let Buffalo hear about this), a commenter on Unfair Park dared me to leave the relative comfort and warmth of my home to venture out into the ice-o-sphere wearing my hatcam. I might have risen above, but it was a challenge the hatcam could not refuse.

I saddled up our two rescue dogs -- I can't remember why we call them that, but I think it reflects well on us anyway -- and we all three headed out the door into the brutal slush. I felt a twinge of embarrassment about the hatcam at first, because, after all, the conditions we encountered were equivalent to what we used to call in Detroit "a fine spring day."

But I think I've been in Texas long enough to wimp out over sleet. I hate sleet. And after all, the Yankees come down here in August and are ready to turn themselves in to the emergency room because it's 97 degrees and they had to walk two blocks.

The one dog, Dorothy, who's kind of a tough little cow-dog/healer mix, didn't slow down one bit for the ice and slush, but the other one, Penny, the fluffy terrier/whatever mix, is not what you'd call resilient. She kept hopping around on three paws like somebody had shot her whenever one paw got a morsel of ice stuck to it, so I'd have to bend down and clean it with my fingers. Then five minutes later another paw would need de-icing. This dog would last 20 minutes in Buffalo in February.

After we got home Penny spent the entire rest of the day hiding from me. Dorothy kept coming up to me from behind, snouting my calf (always makes me jump) and panting at me, like, "Hey, boss, let's go check out that white stuff again."

So anyway the dogs and I composed a little hatcam video for you. I don't know if you'll click to all the symbolism and the subtle embedded references to Greek love poetry, but just in case you don't, here is the meaning of this movie in a nutshell:

Even if it gets somewhat cold but not really cold, and even if there's some ice and sleet but not like a whole lot, and even if there is white stuff all over for a while but then it melts, not just everybody immediately dies. If we stick together and care about each other and share cathartic moments based on repressed childhood memories that cause us to recognize that way down deep inside we're all alike, we can survive half an inch of slush. Of course, I did just watch the Academy Awards the night before.

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Jim Schutze has been the city columnist for the Dallas Observer since 1998. He has been a recipient of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies’ national award for best commentary and Lincoln University’s national Unity Award for writing on civil rights and racial issues. In 2011 he was admitted to the Texas Institute of Letters.
Contact: Jim Schutze

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