And the thaw continues. Its only mid-March, but the snow in Whitehorse is almost gone and the theme from the Twilight Zone goes through my head every morning as I splash through puddles on my way to work.

But let us not bemoan the impending planetary catastrophe known as global warming, let us rejoice instead in the renewal of spring. The sun is shining. The leaves will come out in another eight weeks. Something really stinks underneath the back seat of my car. All the usual signs of spring are here.

Now, in the 21st century urban landscape, melting snow can only signal one thing — the return of skateboarders. You may have already noted their arrival on your almanac calendar.

Yes, it is that time of year again. Along with the geese and the awakening bears, the skateboarders have returned. Pale and disoriented in the spring sunshine, their winter hibernation in dark basements and bedrooms with Game Boys and X-Box’s has ended early and now they are out on the prowl in search of more by-laws to break.

My son is one of that very skateboarding breed, and I, for one, am happy to finally have his butt off my couch. After he’s done unleashing his angst with his skateboard on the streets of Whitehorse, he returns home hungry, tired and actually quite subdued.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the animal known as the Common Skateboarder, I have assembled some information on their habits along with some tips on how to handle any surprise encounters.

Skateboarders usually travel in packs and, when approached, will often mumble incoherently. Do not attempt conversation — even if you know their parents and just want to say, “Hello”.

If you are frightened, remember that only from the front do skateboarders look scary. If you must, approach then from behind for nothing can look more harmless than a male with his pants hanging down below his butt. Just think of Sanford and Son and you’ll be OK.

If you do mistakenly engage in conversation with a skateboarder, do not remind them how much they have grown or how you met them once at their Mom’s house. An embarrassed skateboarder is a dangerous skateboarder who will most likely go home and slam their bedroom door more than once.

When mumbling skateboarders approaches you outside of a store, they want you to buy them cigarettes. Do not buy them smokes if they only have nickels, dimes and pennies. Insist on a $20 bill or higher — this will scare them away.

Skateboarders are usually hungry and can often seem intimidating while they are seeking nourishment. If you ever feel threatened, hold out a piece of fruit, like and apple or pear, as real food will scare them off. Organic food is especially effective. Do not keep food items like Pizza Pops or Fruit Loops in your pockets for this will attract skateboarders.

But most of all, be kind to skateboarders and help protect their environment. Donations to “Save the Skateboarder” can be mailed directly to me c/o What’s Up Yukon. The more money I can give him, the longer my son stays out of the house.