The Tex Files: The Episode Where Mulder and Scully Have Words With The Ever Elusive Weatherman

At the corner of our street
Last week the "Snowpocalypse" that pounded most of the country was forecast to blanket Houston with a rare coating of the white stuff--2 to 4 inches in fact, depending on where you lived. For school kids and most working adults the prospect of snow represented a manna from Heaven that would rescue them from the bonds of slavery imposed by teachers and bosses. But of course, as we all know now, the snow never came. There was plenty of ice though, and with it, 800 to 1000 reported accidents because, if Houstonians are one thing, they're a collective bunch of idiots when it comes to operating a motor vehicle in inclement weather.

That's a Tauntaun
Still, the ice was more than enough to justify the unscheduled time off, just not to the satisfaction of my wife, Ashley and stepdaughter Allie, who would accept nothing short of a blizzard so extreme, it would entice a family of Yetis to put an offer on the vacant house across the street. On the night the snow was predicted to start falling, both Ashley and Allie exhibited great difficulty maintaining any length of focus beyond a few minutes as their eyes darting toward the window in anticipation of witnessing gently falling snow or perhaps even a stray Tauntaun searching for a new home. They reminded me of American Idol contestants suppressing their obvious excitement as they waited for the judges to render a decision. Of course, it doesn't help that each of them have been diagnosed with anxiety issues which can up the entertainment value to FOX programing levels, but sometimes this comes with a price.

The problem with Ashley and Allie in such moments when uncertainty rules supreme, is that the two feed off the other's anxious energy. And so, when nary a flake had fallen by Allie's bedtime, mother and daughter had whipped themselves into a frenzy of nervousness on par with a couple of ADHD kids locked in a room full of fireworks after snorting ten pounds of pure cane sugar. This being the case, I was surprised to see Ashley stepping out of the girls' room within minutes of tucking them in as opposed to the hours of crisis intervention and extra dose of horse tranquilizes I expected Allie would need in order to talk her off the ledge.

Ashley could see my curious expression as she flopped down on the couch next to me. "What?" she asked, glancing past my shoulder at the window behind me.

"Yes, what indeed? As in, what the hell did you tell Allie?"

She denied any wrongdoing, but after an hour of Napa Valley water-boarding, Ashley had reached the right saturation point for revealing her secret. "I told Allie that if she woke up in the middle of the night, she should come get me and we'd go outside and dance in the snow."

I looked at my the clock on my phone. T minus two hours and counting.

Let's stop here for a moment. One of my wife's many endearing quirks is her idyllic vision of how family life should be, complete with white picket fences, big red bows in the girl's hair and lemonade served on the front porch. To me, Ashley's blind naivety here is altogether adorable, and yet I'm also empathetic knowing her childhood was one of instability--the same sort of instability Allie experienced as a toddler when her parents divorced and her grandmother suffered a near fatal aneurysm.

It's for this very reason I have half a mind to write a strongly worded letter to whatever SOBs are responsible for those contrived Hallmark movies that would have viewers believe inane, sentimental gestures are the cure all to a family's Kardashian-esque dysfunction, the size of which is so great, not even the combined powers of Dr. Drew, Dr. Phil and a few, well-aimed hollow-points could have any sort of meaningful impact beyond collecting the co-pay. It's a crime that these Nicholas Sparks knock-offs prey on people like my wife and, by extension, her eight year-old clone who believe that a mothership of domestic nirvana really exists. All they have to do is keep searching the proverbial skies, in the false hopes a warm, bright light will beam them aboard, where they will then be anally probed and tagged like cattle ...wait, what the hell was I talking about?

X-Files: I Want to Believe
Oh yeah, right. But for every Mulder who believes, there's a Scully out there who's grounded by logic, which is why, even with four glasses of Shiraz in her system, I wasn't incredulous at hearing of my wife's plans for a midnight winter waltz with Allie. Even so, like all Scullys, I wanted to believe too, which is why I also thought the idea cute and secretly hoped the universe would conspire as it had been foretold by computer models and Doppler radar.

It ended up being a long night. I got out of bed several times hoping to see mother and daughter executing synchronized pirouettes on sparkling white powder. Nope. Nothing. Just sleek, rain that sounded like pebbles being thrown against the bedroom window.

In the morning, I found Ashley and Allie huddled together on the couch. Allie opened her eyes and looked up at me. "Why didn't it snow?"

There are times when, despite all efforts, you just can't explain such things to a kid, not when they've spent twenty-two consecutive hours talking about making snow angels and a snowman the day prior. For the rest of the day, Allie was understandably disappointed, and by bedtime, her feelings had grown to open agitation.

"What's wrong, Allie?" Ashley asked already knowing the answer.

Allie sat up from her pillow. "That stupid weatherman said it was going to snow. Doesn't he know all of us kids were excited about building a snowman and having snowball fights and stuff? But it didn't and now we're all sad." She buried her face in her knees, and Ashley stroked her hair, expecting to hear muffled crying. But it never came.

Instead, Allie's head suddenly popped up and focusing on a spot at the end of the bed, she narrowed her eyes. "I wanna punch the F#CK outta that weatherman!"

I'm sure there were days when Mulder felt the same way about the Smoking Man.

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