In a surprise vote, the state legislature voted before the holiday break to allow individual counties across Florida to decide if they would join in winter activities, and 58 of the 67 counties in Florida have decided to skip winter this year. That means no school closures due to massive snow drifts, and no school closures due to freezing temperatures, overnight Monday it got down to 64 in Orlando. In fact, in many Florida schools, malls, and other large buildings, heating systems were never installed.

Still, because some counties decided they would participate in Winter events, such as early morning cold floor walking, pre-heating the car’s engine, and wearing the once-in-a-hundred-year cold snap winter parka to keep warm, it has caused animosity between the northern counties and the southern counties, with ugly battles on the horizon. At stake,… country rights, snow clearing budgets, and distribution of the sun, and who decides which winter is best to join in any given year.

The countries in the north, like Santa Rosa, Duval, and Escambia think the southern counties should be forced to join as well, thereby sharing and spreading the misery of thin-blooded Floridians equally amongst all. “They haven’t lived until they get nervous seeing “bridge ices before roads,” warning signs as they speed across, trying to make up time they lost pre-heating their cars says Ted Bachman of Tallahassee.

But southern counties like Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Charlotte counties are having none of that. “It’s our right to decide if we want winter this year or not, and to be stupid and freeze or not,” says Katrina McDowell, a student at the University of Miami. Why should the northern counties get to decide that for us?” McDowell added.

Allocation of emergency winter storm money is not at all explicit this year, because of the divide between northern and southern counties. At stake are some $12 dollars in snow and ice removal funds (consisting mainly of Anthony Greenpeace driving his Prius back and forth to heat up the road surface and blow the possible dusting away but avoiding Columbia county because of its “zero tolerance” for any drugs or anything that looks like drugs, including white powdery stuff).

Caught in the middle are the I-4 corridor counties, which, like the presidential elections, are swing counties in their winter participation in any given year. So far, the Florida Winter Misery Index, FWMI, has averaged a 3 out of 10 for the central Florida counties, making this winter relatively minor. Counties like Orange, Lake, Polk, and Hillsborough have dabbled with low temperatures, down to the 40’s for a day, but have stayed mainly in the 70’s or higher since winter started December 21.

A few years ago the I-4 Swing Counties did select a rather cold winter, which has left many stung and still grumbling to this day, prompting county leaders to waive off old man winter this year and instead bring in the artificial snow for holiday scenes and photo shoots.

The debate may not be solved this year, with both sides claiming they are right, and that the other hand is either wimps for getting cold to easy, or crazy for being willing to subject themselves to such horrible conditions.

One thing is for sure, as brutal arctic weather moves in across most of the mid-west and northeast again, and winter snowfall totals are already approaching season totals, I was bitter that my car’s air conditioner wasn’t blowing as cold as it used to and I forgot my sunglasses today.

–**This opinion article and not entirely scientific or factual based column was brought to you by,- Mexican Hipster Jew

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