Congressman Beechly’s post yesterday about lake ice reminded me that even our biggest lakes freeze over.
Lake Superior became quite icy this year but is quickly thawing out. All the Great Lakes get icy, though Lake Michigan seems to stay warmer. Perhaps Chicago is so dynamic it has an effect like one of those heaters you put in the bottom of a birdbath. Or maybe the still-weighted-down bodies of all the 1920’s gangsters tossed in the lake emit enough bad karma to keep the water moving.
Of course even these massive bodies of water have personalities. For some reason, looking at a map of our marvelous Great Lakes reminded me of the time more than a decade ago when then-U.S. Senator Norm Coleman appeared to get two of them mixed up, which led to two things public officials and their constituents hate in equal measure – criticism and poetry.
“We have Duluth, which is located on Lake Erie, which is the entryway, the gateway to the Great Lakes …” Senator Norm Coleman, during a debate about the National Intelligence Reform Bill, US Senate, September 28, 2004
Lakes of Confusion
A person could, if he were weary
Confuse Superior and Erie
For both are wet and natural.
Their first names are identical!
They both are colored blue on maps.
They both have buoys. Both have traps
for mollusks, fish, and water thingies.
They’re full of waves and boats and dinghies
Politically you can’t divide ‘em.
Both have swing states right beside ‘em.
Round the edge are geese and ducks
And on the northern shore – Canucks!
Except for size and depth and clarity;
History, geography (a minor disparity)
Color, flavor, smell and name
It’s fair to say they are the same.
It’s something of a minor art
To tell these Greatest lakes apart.
So here’s a hint from one who’s tried it.
One has the other’s name inside it.
Superior is clearly better.
Deeper, wider, has more letters.
If you mix them in your stupor,
Take Eri out, it still is Supor.
Tell us about your favorite lake.