All you know is a lie. In kindergarten, we all learned there are four seasons, Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. There’s a song you learn. There are happy cartoon pictures of each season on the walls of the room.
There are five seasons. But one so unspeakable, so awful, so foul, that you don’t learn about it in kindergarten. Just like you learn about Columbus and the Pilgrims without hearing awful words like “smallpox”, “blankets”, or “Puritanism”, this season is skipped over. But we all know it’s there (well, those of us located north enough to have Real Seasons). It’s called Schlump, and it sucks.
Schlump is the part of the year after winter has ended, but before spring has started. It is marked by the worst kind of weather possible. It’s not snow. It’s not rain. It’s not even ice, really. It’s this mushy crud that falls from the sky in slushy, icy, wet chunks. It makes travel impossible. It soaks straight through your shoes, exposing your poor toesies to 180 proof frostbite. The season is actually named for this satanically-spawned precipitation. “schlump-schlump-schlump” is the sound your soon-to-be-frostbitten and gangrenous feet make as you try to tramp through slushy crap. It is also the sound of your soul dying a little each day as you venture into the gray, damp, and supremely raw hell that is Schlump. It’s like you moved into a new apartment, and the deranged sadistic former tenant, Old Man Winter, decided to leave you a “housewarming present.”Nobody is happy, since Schlump comes at exactly the worst time. You’ve already been through months of winter. you’re sick of hiding and want to go outside wearing sneakers and a light jacket, but you can’t.
Now, you might be thinking “That sounds like winter to me.” No no no no no! Schlump is an entirely different beast. Winter has, at least, a few charms about it. There are pleasant, flaky snowfalls, ice skating, skiing, snow forts, sledding, dry air, reading next to a warm fire, and some awesome holidays.
Schlump has… President’s Day (disclaimer: your crappy Schlump holiday may vary by latitude). You get a day off to wander around town and admire the ugly, dirty-ass snowbanks everywhere. But you don’t even leave the house, because it’s dark, cold and shitty out. Instead, you just crawl deeper under your blankets and succumb to depression.
Nobody likes Schlump. If you live in it, it sucks. If you live in a warmer, happier place, like Southern California, you have probably noticed that trips to the Northeast are really cheap at this time of year. There is a reason for this.
If you live in Britain or Ireland, well, you’re probably OK with Schlump. I mean, it lasts about 6 months there, right?