Monday, February 15, 2010

Snow Problem At All

Just in case you’ve been in an isolation chamber for the last week, I would like to let you know that the world almost ended this week because of a snow storm.

Well, kind of.

Here is an observation for you: The amount of snow you can tolerate is directly proportional to how much physical space you have in a city. If you are in some place like the Italian Alps, bring on the snow. Gallons, tons, oodles of it!

If you are in a cramped place like New York City? Eight snow flakes fall and every grocery store turns into a Black Friday sale with people killing each other to get milk and bread into their wagon.


Why does 1 snow storm make people feel they need to go out and buy enough groceries to last them through the end of the next decade?

It snows every year in New York. But some winters are worse than others and when the hype surrounding a snow storm starts, people go bat guano crazy.

That is assuming of course, that the snow actually comes.

If, like last week, the blizzard actually comes, congress shuts down, crime stops, and there is nothing to report about except the snow. So you have these ridiculous news reporters out in the snow demonstrating to us just how snowy the snow storm is.

Reporting at its finest.

First of all they feel the need to take a ruler and put it in the snow to show you how much snow is out there.

As though we wouldn’t believe them otherwise. Like this idiot is going to get on camera and go;

Uh yea so far today we got about… umm…like… 200 feet of snow.

Then they do things like pick up the snow and have the cameraman zoom in as they mash it between their finger tips to show the texture.

They also get a shovel and shovel 1 scoop of snow and toss it into the street to show how heavy the snow is.

Thank you for that. I was just sitting here wondering what the procedure was for shoveling now but you went and showed me.

Meanwhile some poor shmo is standing off camera waiting to get his shovel back so he can continue cleaning off his sidewalk in peace like he was before the van full of Cronkites rolled up to give in-depth interviews with the snow.

Last week, not even exaggerating here, I saw a newscaster crawl through a snow igloo some 8 year old had made.

How does this help anybody?

I can imagine the conversation going on off camera that led to this Journalism school graduate to risk being crushed by 50 pounds of snow to demonstrate that… the snow is real?

As though there is some couple in New York watching TV as they get ready in the morning;

Wife: Hey hunny what does the weather forecast say? How bad is the snow?
Husband: Well, it’s enough to build an igloo that you can crawl through.
Wife: Enough to build an igloo?! Well then I should put on my “Enough snow to build an igloo boots” then.

Every newscast goes into crisis mode using the same huge news fonts and dramatic music they would use if there had been a terrorist attack.

Might I point out that what is falling from the sky is snow… not grenades.

I understand that bad things can happen with inclement weather, and it can adversely affect people but you do not need to bring me 24/7 coverage of the snowstorm 2010 as it happens. Here is how the news broadcast could actually happen.

We apologize for interrupting your regularly scheduled programming to bring you this late breaking story.

It is snowing. Bad. Stay home.

Now back to CSI Sheboygan.

Much like last year I was able to get a snow day off of work when the Snowpocalyptic Snowmaggedeon hit. Seeing as I was out of groceries (big surprise) I made the decision to go out and get a couple of slices of pizza from the place around the corner.

Well of course since I had stopped watching the idiots on TV I didn’t realize that this was probably the worst time to go. Just walking the 200 yards to the pizza place I felt like I was trying to return the one ring to rule them all to the depths of Mordor. The snow was blowing 100 miles an hour up into my nose. The walk isn’t shoveled. And I’m running, like an idiot, in snow boots because I’m starving and really want pizza.

And running through that much snow, in boots, there is really no way to not look like a complete idiot because you have to move every single part of your body just to generate enough momentum to keep going forward. Add a pizza box into the mix and people driving by must have though I escaped from a mental pizza institution.

By the time I got back in my apartment with my soaked pizza box I felt like I had just run a triathlon.

I was outside for 3 minutes tops and I was exhausted. It reminded me of when I still lived at home and had to shovel out my car.

Most snow is fun up until the point at which you have to relocate it.

I definitely do NOT miss that about living in the suburbs. Shoveling snow. Jesus. That is about the worst thing in the world. I used to really like going outside in the middle of the night to shovel the snow as it fell. It was beautiful. It was peaceful. And it’s easy when there is only 1 or 2 inches on the ground, its pitch black outside, and you are the only one around. It’s all very Zen.

But then the next morning there is 96 inches of snow, your cars have been sealed into the driveway by 3 different snow plows and you’re trying to move tons of frozen white shit with a 15 year old chipped piece of plastic attached to the end of the stick. You pull a muscle in your back, your sweating; so you take off a coat, and then your sweat is now freezing.

Yea, that I don’t miss.


It's All Good said...

At least that's snow, you should see how south floridians become when it merely rains. They loose all knowledge of operating motor vehicles.

Old School/New School Mom said...

Beautifully articulated. I love the idea of snow, but in actuality it's a giant pain in the tuchus. It makes life go in slow motion. Everything take so much longer because of the snow. The one exception to my hatred of snow was back in 1996 when NYC had it's one and only snow day when I was a youngter. They closed all NYC public schools. It was like when G-d parted the red sea. A freakin' miracle

Jeninacide said...

Haha.. yeah, at this point those of us in the PacNW would LIKE a little snow, although now it is pretty much spring here so I have given up and have decided it is time to start wearing shorts. With tights.

But yeah,I know JUST the news stories you are talking about. Anytime it snows in Portland everything SHUTS DOWN and people freak the eff out. It almost never snows here so when it does people literally do not know how to handle it. They just hole up in their houses and watch the news 24/7 about how it is SNOWING. Yep. It's snow. It exists, it is white and it is inhibiting public transportation. JUST FYI. *snort*

Caroline B said...

Ha! Glad it isn't just the UK that shuts down with a bit of snow. We had three 'snow days' off work in January (I work in a school) and it began to get really boring because although you were off work, you couldn't do anything because of the SNOW - they never did clear our road before it melted on it's own & I got heartily sick of walking everywhere toting shopping in a rucksack...only beaten by the snow before Christmas when we were trapped in a shopping centre car park for over 5 hours because of 2 inches of snow...argh!

Laurnie said...

Ive never had to shovel snow, but from your description I hope I never will have to

Michelle said...

Rich, little do you know, you demonstrate the need for 24/7 snow news coverage action! If you had only tuned in nonstop for the whole storm, you'd have been saved that trip out! On the other hand, I doubt your hunger would have prevented you from going out anyway.

Anonymous said...

I love snow when I'm snow-skiing.

And that is the ONLY time I love snow. Otherwise, it's an inconvenience.

Can't wait for spring!

Cathy said...

Funny! Living on the west coast, I've always dreamed of the magical words "Snow Day", but you've given me a grand perspective on the downside of snow, but still, just once...

Saw your poem on your other blog about the wine glass. Brilliantly written!

The Girl said...

Ha England would literally have come to an end if that much snow had fallen. We had a lot of snow for us but it was only about 8 inches and people were FREAKING OUT about it. London shut down, people had snow days, it was hilarious.

Also over here they only really care about the snow if it falls in the south of England. "London's got snow?! Oh my god!! Cancel all other news stories. What? The North has completely disappeared under a blanket of the white stuff? Yeeeeeeah, we'll just sort of mention it and then go back to this story about how bad the NHS is."

I'd give my right arm to have a snow day. (But that would make building my own snow igloo difficult.)

its_unbelievalo said...

I sit here and contemplate the snow that the east coast has received this last week and I cry. I cry because I am in Colorado and this year in my area we have received next to nothing in my area! Which completely sucks!!! We are the ones usually covered up to our ears in snow that we dont know what to do with and you all have it!?!?!?!? Even Texas got it! Texas has more snow from one storm then we have seen all winter! DRAG!!!!!

astoldbyw*nter said...

I empathize with you. After being blinded by the snow on my way into the nearest convenience store, I then had to contend with a liter of Dr. Pepper since all of the bottled water seemed to have mysteriously disappeared. (It's most likely being horded by that one family that buys out the canned goods section every time someone even sneezes in their direction.)

Anonymous said...

We have had two hours of rain so far this year... the roads were closed and a National holiday was declared!!

Joey's Dream Garden said...

It's the same here in the UK, the local news programmes just LOVE weather stories as they see that it's somehow something that everyone is involved in. The UK got very low on grit supplies which led to arguments about "who is to blame"... after 5 weeks of snow news, it does get rather boring and tiresome. My sympathies... ;-)

Lynntastic said...

Did you ever notice that terrible snowstorms don't happen when everyone is prepared? We had two terrible winters in Eastern Washington and *finally* everyone bought their snow chains, snow tires, ice melt, kitty litter, snow shovels, snow plows, snow blowers.... then there was almost no snow this year (I think we sent it all to NY and the midwest)

Nancy said...

Glad you got home with the pizza box! I don't suppose you can get delivery?? :-)

Rowena... said...

All that and still no snowmen pics? ARghghgh! Somebody wrote somewhere that the Kremlin must be laughing.

Rowena... said...

Actually I'm looking at the photo and now I want to strap on my snowshoes.

annechovie said...

Hey, thanks for stopping by! I feel extremely fortunate after reading this post. You guys deserve a purple heart for this Winter you've had to endure. Have a great weekend.

Pat said...

All that snow you guys got up nort dar makes me long for a walk through a winter wonderland. KIDDING! heh-heh

You know, since we've been wintering in AZ, I thought I'd miss the snow and cold. Truth be told? Not so much!

Amber said...

I grew up on the east Coast of Canada but live in Alberta now. I was watching a weather report on my hometown and they were announcing the school closures. My son turned to me and said "Mom, what's a snow day?"...I felt like a terrible mother. Doesn't every child deserve to spend hours scanning the sky in hopes of an impending blizzard so they can get a day off school? That's one of the top reasons people live in Canada!