Don't Like the Weather?

To say that last week's weather was a ridiculous rollercoaster ride would be... right. After snowing all day Sunday, it went from a low of 9 on Tuesday to a high of 69 on Thursday. Then it's dropping right back down to the teens tonight. It all brought to mind the old chestnut, "If you don't like the weather in [your home city/state], just wait a few minutes." Or some variation thereof.

Out of idle curiosity, I decided to delve into the origins of this obnoxiously overused aphorism, and at first found folks favored Mark Twain. But then, depending on which way the World Wide Web's wind was wafting, Will Rogers received the réclames. Come now, they both can't be correct, so which of these preeminent personalities actually authored the infinitely imitated adage? I was determined to determine the determination; I would soon sustain something of a surprise.

A plethora of play-pretend pundits, both online and on linen, maintain Missourian Mark Twain was the waffling weather witticism's writer. Even Snopes, the 800-pound primate of fact finders, finds it factual. Yet no one has offered an iota of indisputable information to support this somewhat suspect supposition. If it was presumably published, in which publication? If it was supposedly said at some social soiree, when and where was the affair?

Forthwith I was found frittering away a full freaking day foraging for further facts—an especially exasperating endeavor—and consequently came across a credible case that Twain (maybe among the most misquoted men) was not the source of said saw. The Chicago Tribune, for what it's worth, came to a consonant conclusion.

So, was Rogers really the right response, then? Well, Will seems to suffer the same stubborn syndrome as Twain inasmuch as he's quite often misquoted. And in spite of innumerable individuals insisting the Oklahoman manufactured the much maligned meteorological maxim, just as it was with Twain there's a dearth of definitive documentation. Now then, know that a notably neglected nugget of empirical evidence patently proves the persistent pearl is not his handiwork: apparently it appeared in print as early as 1915, whereas Will's wit did not develop 'til the twenties. By the time I'd encountered an authority on all things Rogers, I reckoned that rendering a request to resolve the relentless riddle wasn't worthwhile, as I'd become completely convinced neither nonliving notable fathered the fatuous phrase.

Permit me to "go out on a limb" (nope, neither one owns that one either) and politely proffer this possibly promising, particularly personal premise: once upon a time, an enduring enigmatic epigram, conceivably coined collectively by the locals of the St. Lawrence River many moons past, proceeded to progressively proliferate—as such sayings are wont to do—via visitors to the valley. Eventually, an anonymous author, perchance pondering the perennially popular proverb's potential prosaist, modestly misattributed the memorable motto to Mr. Twain, unfortunately founding a frustratingly famous fallacy. Furthermore, regarding Rogers' reputed responsibility for the chronic cliché, I nurture the notion it's naught but the fanciful fabrication of a few fulsome fans. Final finding: everyone's in error and, more maddeningly, no one gives a good goddamn.

Meanwhile, my marathon immersion in immense mounds of merde moved me to misrepresent another axiom as I mount my virtual soapbox and adamantly assert, "The World Wide Web doth stand as proof that oft told lies we'll take as truth." And you can quote me on that (he wrote with a wink). Also, apologies for authoring an absurdly alliterate article—just be relieved I refrained from unleashing a load of lame one-liners like "never the twain shall tweet"...

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