The Cookie Gods

There are few things in life I like more than a cookie.  Just say the word – “cookie”.  It even sounds like it’s filled with goodness.  I love that my boss and other office minions delight in providing me with a daily cookie fix.  I love that the word is a source of humor either by itself (if you’re Shannon) or in various jokes involving tossed cookies or cowboys.  I love that Jason comfort-foods me with them.  For any of you who’ve ever read (or had read to them) the story Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, you’ll notice that cookies are one of the foods that never becomes a problem in falling from the skies.  Why?  Because cookies are simply never bad.

Which brings me to my next point – why are we not awash in a sea of cookie provender from benficent gods above?  As cookies cannot cause floods, they would be more useful than excessive rain.  And don’t I (Don’t you, ALL of you) deserve a cookie?  I think I do.  But how does one bring about a hail of cookies from the sky?  Have we already angered the cookie gods in some way we don’t know about?  Does our cloud-dough lack substance?  Did somebody leave out that pinch of salt that would provide an instant cookie downpour?

I cannot say.  But, I think, it would be advisable for those of us without cookies to begin an immediate cookie dance to bring down the cookies from the sky once again.  Couldn’t hurt, and provided no one breaks themselves, it would at least be entertaining.

Authorities reveal rice shortages in China.

All right, for the moment these shortages have not been realized, but if you weren’t aware China is currently experiencing some of the worst snowstorms and winter weather it has had in decades.  I don’t care if you believe in global warming or not, there is something seriously wrong with our weather patterns and this is yet another extreme example of it.  For those of you who don’t like geography, let me explain.  Yes, China is big, and yes, most of the northern cities are always subject to snow in the winter.  But a much greater portion of China is in the tropical and subtropical region.  Large cities in the south like Hong Kong and Guangzhou actually like below the Tropic of Cancer.  The only area in the US below that line are parts of Hawaii.  So the fact that winter storms and related power losses are crippling the entire country is astounding.

The government is working to secure money for farmers who are losing their rice crop to the unseasonable weather.  Rice grows mostly in the south, where it’s warmer and wetter, and typically at this time of year it rains lightly almost every day.  Evidently that precipitation has become much heavier than usual, and is freezing rather than raining down warmly.  It’s gotten so bad that the Prime Minister (and we’re talking high Communist official here, not Bill Clinton) issued a public apology.   If the weather continues, there’s fear that they will lose major portions of this year’s rice crop.

The storms couldn’t have come at a worse time, either.   In just a few days it will be time for Spring Festival, the Chinese holiday that combines Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s all into one week of fun, family, and food.  It is the worst possible time to travel in China, because everyone is going home.  The train system only allows purchase of tickets 3 days in advance (unless you have connections), which means that lines are long and crowded, with police everywhere trying to keep people from cutting.  Tempers are high, patience is low, and even when you have tickets, getting on the train is ridiculous.  Spring Festival is a time to spend that extra money for a soft sleeper if you can get one, because the standing room is going to be packed as tight as humanly possible.  Even if you get a seat, people are going to be standing over you, and maybe sitting underneath or on top of you.

Add all this to power outages and train service being completely down in the weeks leading up to Spring Festival, and you have billions of unhappy people.  Literally.