Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Snow of the South

Despite having lived in the Southeastern United States my entire life, I am still unable to fathom the level of panic generated by the threat of frozen precipitation. Schools are closed, businesses are shuttered, and traffic slows to a glacial pace at the very mention of “accumulation.” While I understand the danger posed by icy road conditions and would categorize myself as a fan of safety, what is this unrelenting terror that causes educated men and women to cower in their homes and search the skies for an errant flake of snow?

When faced with impending arctic doom, the first order of business is to make your way to a grocery and stockpile bread, milk, and eggs as if your only hope of survival depends on your ability to make French toast on short notice. The store’s interior quickly becomes a heaving tumult of anxious patrons gnawing at the very boundaries of civilized behavior while silently cursing the senior citizen who chose today as their first foray into the world of self-checkout. 

Once in the parking lot your survival depends on your ability to avoid being flattened by oblivious motorists whose panic has long since rendered them incapable of safely operating an automobile. Upon reaching the relative haven of your own car, you will now face the daunting challenge of pulling into traffic while evading the army of municipal trucks preemptively saturating the asphalt with enough salt to relocate an entire deer population.

Having successfully merged into traffic, you will undoubtedly feel the urge to top off your gas tank in the event that the coming blizzard cripples the town’s petroleum infrastructure and you suddenly feel the urge to drive to Kansas. Prudency suggests that you also purchase two lottery tickets and an overpriced quart of orange juice to prevent scurvy.

Realizing that you could be isolated indoors for days, you stop at a Redbox DVD rental kiosk and select one of the only movies still available which means you will either be watching the latest installment of Resident Evil or Gary Busey’s directorial debut. Having made your choice, you head toward home content in the knowledge that you are fully prepared to ride out the storm of the century.

After finally arriving at your residence and putting away your survival supplies you will begin the arduous task of calling/texting/Facebooking your indignation at being forced to deal with all of the “panicky morons” at Kroger and Exxon. This sentiment will be immediately echoed by every other person who stopped by Kroger / Exxon and also felt the number of people there was excessive.

Once you have finished commiserating with friends and family, you will tune into your local television channel so as not to miss the nearly uninterrupted weather updates. For the next several hours you watch with anticipation as the Neapolitan hues of the weather-map inch closer to your barricaded home while terms like “Wintery Mix” are lobbed about like meteorological grenades. 
Even once the broadcast is returned to regularly scheduled programming the entire bottom third of the screen will be festooned by a scrolling marquee listing each and every daycare fight-club and Seventh - Day Adventist luncheon that has been forced to reschedule.

The culmination of all this pageantry will manifest itself in one of two ways:

1.It will simply rain enough to wash away the deployed salt and you will spend the rest of your evening choking down a ham sandwich and a hard-boiled egg while trying to understand why anyone would underwrite a 7th Resident Evil film.
2. The roads will actually become as treacherous as everyone had feared which means you will immediately make plans with your friends to drive around and take pictures of cars that have careened off the road. You will later upload these photos to Facebook with the caption, “What an idiot!”

1 comment:

  1. On the other hand they always manage to keep the liquor stoes open !


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