"This weather is a joke!" I heard a young woman saying to her friend last night as they left the warmth of a supermarket to make the ten metre walk to their cars.
What she meant was that It is a bit colder than it's been of late.
What's the joke? It's winter and it's cold? That's neither funny ha ha nor funny peculiar.
No, she was using that tone of voice which means "someone should do something about this, it's just not right!"
It's true that the British Met Office is predicting a colder than average winter - roughly the same as ten years ago when average temperatures were a couple of degees celsius lower than over the previous few years.
But we are not talking "Day After Tomorrow" stuff here with London under twenty metres of snow and boats locked in iceflows on the Thames.
And the Met Office scientists say they aren't all that confident about their forecast anyway.
So why the panic?
Of course we Brits love to talk about the weather. I do it too, especially when I meet strangers.
It's safer territory than politics. I don't like talking about football at the moment because my team (Southampton) is plunging down the league. And discussing the weather is more polite than sitting there in silence.
And because the weather changes a lot in Britain, there is always something to talk about.
More than two centuries ago, Dr Samuel Johnson noted that "when two Englishmen meet, their first talk is of the weather."
So this obsession must be one of the few remaining politenesses remaining from a time of finer manners.
Yet I still don't completely understand why we discuss the weather as if it is going to do something dreadful and needs to be watched.
The last really serious and deadly floods were in 1953 - more than half-a-century ago which isn't a bad average. The last serious winter snow, deep and lasting enough to bring the country to a standstill, was in 1963.
Of course, we still haven't learned to cope with bad weather - wet leaves on railway lines and a few flakes of snow can disrupt transport for a day or two.
But that's just confirmation of what I'm saying. We are suprised by a bit of bad weather because we think it is out to get us.
No point preparing by having road and rail systems weatherproof. The weather will do something perverse and catch us out anyway.
And if there is a bad winter and things get tougher, then more people will be saying "This is a joke!" and blaming the government, and probably the Americans.
We used to blame the Russians, they were mucking the atmosphere about with their satellites, remember that?
Does the end of the Cold War mean we can't stand the cold? Discuss.