Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Shut Down

We had snow yesterday. Not much – about an inch – but it wreaked havoc.

Denver, CO was closed down for days because of snow several weeks ago. But they had several feet of the white stuff. Asheville got 1”. Our local news reported over 200 accidents including 4 school bus incidents. Today, most of the local schools are closed, the rest on 2-hour delays.

I grew up in Pittsburgh, then lived for another 10 years in upstate New York and New Jersey. Snow? Fuck it – just another day. You shoveled it, drove in it and played in it. I don’t remember a single “snow day” while I was in school.

In the south – and this isn’t even the deep south – everyone races to the super market when there’s even a hint of snow in the forecast. The store shelves are cleared of bread and milk in minutes. Once the snow hits – if it hits – people hole up in their homes like hermits. Schools close, businesses shut down and the area goes into hibernation.

Several years ago, all the weather prognosticators were calling for a major snowfall. They showed charts and graphs of the storm heading this way from the most dangerous of locations – the Gulf of Mexico. They promised that the snowfall would hit overnight and be measured in feet, not inches.

All the school systems the area cancelled classes before a single flake hit the ground. Super markets sold out of all the food staples in hours. When the sun came up the morning of the promised storm – nothing! The front had bypassed up and left us with a warm, sunny day.

We do have the other extreme though.

Those hearty souls with 4-wheel drive vehicles come out of the woodwork to play in the snow. The problem is most of them don’t have a clue what they’re doing. They believe that 4-wheel drive will not only let them go in the snow, but that it will help them stop too. Don’t even ask how that works out. They also think that their 4-wheelers will go on ice.

It’s great to live in the south.



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