We went to the bog tonight, it was bitterly cold, the Bog's big wood stove was glowing. At the Bog, there are the rhythms of life.
Talk of Bombogenesis, the monster storm racing up the East Coast with hurricane winds and ferociously cold temperatures, the newest scare from weather world. Big storms are big money in weather world, the rates go right up through the roof when a storm is big enough to name. Your misery is their stock dividend.
At the bog, life pulses through the veins along with the beer. Kelly says it's quiet this time of year, the school taxes just came out and everybody is broke and saving up money to pay them. She says it picks up when the IRS refund checks are mailed out in late March and April.
Kelly always knows when tax bills are sent out, local, state or federal, she feels it from the other side of the barn.
Everybody is broke right now, there are the taxes, and the credit card bills coming due from Christmas.
There is talk of frozen pipes It's worse if you have plumbing in upstairs rooms, the wind is worse up there. There is vague talk of some big storm rushing up the coast, but not expected to hit us directly, so it doesn't really matter, it's somebody else's storm to worry about.
The bar, full up at 7:30 is empty at 9, everybody wants to get home before the roads freeze up.
A young couple winds the first round of Trivia at the Bog, sponsored by Bug Lite. Another round of competition starts next Tuesday, the winners get a $25 gift certificate to the Bog, Maria shrugs. twenty-five dollars for four people? What does that buy here besides a hamburger?
At one table, the town snow plough guys sit having a beer after a hard and cold day' work. They are the go-to people in town for weather forecasts and news, they are up to date. At the Bog, the TV's are always set to sports channels, nobody watches the news.
The big news in the town all year has nothing to do with Washington, the Cambridge Central football team, the Indians, just won the state championship for the second time in a row and half the town came out to greet the bus on the way home near the school.
The news of the day is background noise, or rumors. Almost everyone at the bar voted for Trump, but he is losing altitude here now. This is where I went the day after Election Day to drink some Scotch and try to figure out what the hell has just happened. I learned a lot that day.
But I'm hearing something different now.
Trump is just another rich windbag watching out for other rich windbags, says one of the drivers to his buddies, they are just a tribe, they scratch each other's backs. We thought he would be different. We are up here freezing our asses off, and he's playing golf every weekend in Florida. He's not tweeting about all the people whose pipes have blown out. Never mind the fucking fake news, what about the farmers whose manure is froze to the ground and their milking tubes. Why doesn't he tweet about our propane and heating oil bills, no vacations for this family this summer?
At the bog, there is a lot of talk about pipes and plumbing. Everybody has a cousin or uncle who is a plumber, and they are working around the clock to thaw people's pints. One woman in the Bog has already been without water for a week, the whole town is in a frenzy about frozen pipes.
The cold has been so unrelenting the ground is frosting up down to two or three feet. If it goes much lower, almost everybody's water pipes will freeze up.
Friday will be the coldest day yet, they say, and then Saturday too. The plumbers will be busy for a long time, they say. It's a bad storm, but it won't hit us too direct.
The Bog is hardwired into the town, you can feel the rhythms of the town just like blood pumping from the heart into the body. Kelly probably knows more about what is happening in the town than the mayo, but she would never say so.