Surprise of the White Death!

The word on the street is that there’s some snow out there covering, well, the streets. Friday ended up being one of those days that lead weather people to lives of shivering, irrational paranoia. No one suggested that snowmaggeddon was coming, no one warned soccer moms everywhere that there was a need to panic and make a mad dash to the store for whatever bread, milk, and eggs they could lay their over-reactive hands on. I have little doubt that the area meteorologists will be afraid to check their email for days because of it.

Personally, I’m firmly of the belief that these people mean well enough. And we’re talking about the weather after all; that’s Ohio valley weather, as a matter of fact. You’d have better luck trying to predict lottery numbers than you would calling the forecast around here. This place is not for the weak of heart, and if you’re given to self-doubt, you should probably consider minding the storm fronts in southern California.  Really, how hard would it be to stand in front of a camera every day and say, “Looks like it’s going to be sunny and 80 again tomorrow, Bob, a good day to get out and work on that tan!”

Speaking of tans, if anyone wonders why our new Speaker of the House looks like an Oompa-Loopa, it’s because well, he’s from these here parts, and you can’t always depend on nature to provide you with a healthy golden hue when you live in Ohio.  Sure, he might be day-glow orange, but apparently “depth of tan” is somehow a designation of leadership among these people.  He’s got Representatives from much warmer, sunnier places with which to compete. Hitting the tanning bed is apparently a huge service to his constituents, which is good, since I’m sure they’re paying for that shine.

Of course, it might be a good idea to elect leaders based on, you know, qualifications rather than melatonin levels, but that’s another post.

Anyway, where was I?  Oh, yeah, so the White Death threw the greater Cincinnati area a little surprise party yesterday, and the result was crippling.  At rush hour, I was traveling (well, sitting stationary on) a side-road on my way home that offered a view of an expressway junction where two different highways intersect.  Both were complete parking lots.  Even on back roads, it took me an hour and a half to make a trip that should only take ten minutes.

I nearly ran out of gas and had consumed too much coffee throughout the day to be stuck in immobile traffic for that long.  In the end, though, I got off lucky; I made it to a gas station (barely), and even managed to avoid wetting myself (bonus!).  So I figured it was a good afternoon.  Some people weren’t so lucky; I have friends who spent three and four hours on their evening commute.

One wonders why this sort of thing happens around here, yet you rarely hear of places like Indianapolis, Cleveland, or Toledo having similar experiences every time there’s a horrifying inch of snow on the road.  Honestly, I don’t know what is or why we’re so given to irrational fits of panic and the complete inability to operate a motor vehicle.  But I do know one thing for certain:  as long as we kept acting like a little snow freaks us out, we’re going to keep getting the White Death Surprise.

We make it very amusing for Mother Nature to drop a dusting of snow and watch us scurry about like chickens.  And as long as we act like the sky is falling, well, we’re going to continue to get debilitating dustings of snow.  Every winter.  Several times.

At least until someone institutes some kind of Winter Survival License so you have to pass a test to be allowed to live here in January or February.

Maybe we should get that orange guy working on that.