So it’s early January. In my home state, typically the temps would be in the 20-30s and we would have at least an inch or two of snow. But this year, it’s been unseasonably warm here in the Midwest. Shoot, it was in the mid-50s a few days ago. I think I even saw some folks sun-bathing! (This whole global warming thing must be true. I knew I shouldn’t have left my fridge door open for that extra seven seconds.)
Fast forward to the most recent forecast. Snow is on the way! Snow? In Indiana in January? Nooooooooooo! Oh crap, I need run out to the store RIGHT. FREAKING.NOW. and get my French toast staples. You know, bread, eggs, and milk. I might get stuck at home for a month of Sundays. And, without milk, eggs, and bread, I might perish into nothing. I better hurry! Oh yeah, I better fill up with gas, too. You never know, the gas tankers might get stuck and I won’t have any gas! I need to quickly go tell Henny Penny, Ducky Lucky, and Foxey Loxey. This is tragic!
Stop me if you’ve heard this story before, but every single year when the first hint of measurable snow is on the way, 93% of people (at least in this state) lose their mind. This phenomenon never ceases to amaze me. It starts with the weather forecast. Raign Storme the weather man says we’re likely to get 1-2 inches of the white stuff. By the end of the day, the talk around the breakrooms and water coolers is “did you hear we’re supposed to get up to 6- to 8-inches by tonight?!”
I challenge you to conduct a field experiment in societal behaviors during this time. Go to the bread aisle of your favorite grocery around 5 p.m. when snow is predicted. You will find nary a loaf. Meander over to the milk cooler. Bare. Even that dishwater, that 1% stuff, has been snatched up. And eggs? Forget it. Then, on your way home, check out the lines at the local gas stations. Even if gas was $7.90 for one gallon, I bet they would be lined up three deep. Once you get home, turn on the local news. The scrolls at the bottom will have already started: Snips & Tangles Beauty School-CLOSED, Pop a Cork Bartending Academy-CLOSED, First Parish of St. Mattress-NO MORNING SERVICES. One after another, CLOSED! POSTPONED! TWO HOUR DELAY!
Once reality hits and morning rolls around, we all find what the weatherman predicted: about an inch and half of Winter Wonderland on the ground. Now the fun really begins! Where I live, I truly believe that those same 93% of people, who were convinced they would be stranded until summer, have completely forgotten how to drive. You have two classifications of drivers during the snow. Mamaw Scaredtodeath is the lady who refuses to drive over 11 mph. She will also have her blinkers on to make sure you notice her, putzing along to make sure she makes it to her destination. The second driver is Billy Bob Monstertruck. This is the dude in the jacked up 4×4 (complete with gun rack in the window) who thinks he owns the road. He goes flying by you like he’s being chased by Sheriff Rosco P. Coletrane and Enus. Billy Bob has no regard for anyone on the road except for him and passenger Cletus. (Apparently those big ole trucks make you invincible?)
All kidding aside, I realize that winter weather and winter driving is not always a laughing matter. And for some people, it is a downright miserable experience and scares the bejeezus out of them. The overreacting to winter is what creeps up my crawl. In my 41 years on this earth, I can recall being stuck at home due to snow just once-The Blizzard of ’78. But that was 1978. And it was a blizzard. It’s now 2012 and we haven’t had many blizzard predictions. Today’s road crews also have a little better equipment then we did back in ’78.
So lighten up people. It’s just snow. The crews will be out in due time to get your road cleaned off to passable levels. Life will resume to its regularly scheduled program shortly. But in the mean time, how about some French toast?
[author_info]About the Author
Robb J. is one of our regular Parenting and Man Cave contributors who is stuck somewhere in the middle of a paradigm shift and the status quo. He is a 41-year-old single dad who likes swimming in the deep end without the use of floaties. He raises two daughters–a teen and a preteen. He would appreciate a moment of silence for that. [/author_info][/author]