Saturday, February 6, 2010


Yeah, yeah, I know, I know--you people who live in areas of the country that get real snow are laughing at (or bitching about*) all us wussies in Virginia whining and complaining about the white stuff.

What you have to remember is we haven't experienced consistent winter weather since the '60s; we've forgotten how to cope with deep snow, multiple snowstorms, and stuff like that there. We used to; my gawd, where I grew up (at the foot of the Blue Ridge mountains) snow started in November and we could have serious accumulations as late as March and April. We rarely missed school (the joke was if the Superintendent of Schools could make it to his office we had class--and he lived across the street) despite two to three-foot accumulations and I don't recall anyone experiencing more than a modest problem or two.

(of course, way back then we had wide-ass snow tires and adamantine-studded snow tires and Big! Manly! Clanking! tire chains, till the powers that be decided to outlaw 'em. Now we're stuck with all-weather tires, what my father, who sold 'em, called "no-weather tires.")

These days, at least in Richmond, VA, the slightest hint of snow sends the general populus into an absolute tizzy, into veritable paroxysms of panic: "OMG! Snow! SNOW! Head for the stores! Grab bread and milk! And kitty litter! Pounds of kitty litter! And canned goods! And batteries! It's the Apocalypse! It's Armageddon! Let there be wailing and gnashing of teeth; WE MIGHT BE INCONVENIENCED FOR A DAY OR TWO!"

To which I say, "Fine, y'all just chill. And stay off the roads. You're more of a hazard than the snow and ice."

Anyway, we're in the midst of our third snowstorm this year and the novelty's worn off... for everyone. People must be well-stocked on bread and milk, as far as I can tell; the grocery store parking lots (I live near three of them) were nearly empty last night as I passed by on my way home from work. What I found interesting was the traffic jam--they were backed out into the street--at the liquor store. I guess there's a serious local need for Snow Denial Juice.

And I guess I'll be spending another Sunday afternoon shoveling out my car.

* Here's a rant from reddit:

This is my second winter in Virginia since moving from Colorado and it still amazes me how incompetent everyone (the people, the businesses, the government) is when it comes to snow.

I'm not talking about the monster 30 inches we got last month, I'm talking about the lousy 3" we got today! In Colorado, that would have been nothing, no cause to freak out. But today, I went out to get groceries and it was hell! No one salted last night, despite everyone knowing that snow was coming, and no one was out plowing, so the streets were full of slush.

This, combined with the fact that no one here can drive in the snow- they either go to damn slow (15mph on a clear highway is not acceptable, actually you do worse at that slow speed, especially uphill) or so fast they lose control whenever they try and change lanes.

As a result, I came closer to dying today than I ever had. After heroically braving the storm, getting groceries, and coming home, a truck pulling an empty trailer changes lanes next to me. I see him out of the corner of my eye, and realize that the trailer has caused him to fishtail, and he's bearing straight at me! I gun the gas, and escape being sideswiped by the narrowest of margins.

So in short, Virginians, I'm revoking your snow-driving privileges. Only ambulances, fire trucks, snow plows, and I are allowed to drive if there's more than half of an inch on the ground.

1 comment:

gypsy924 said...

Bravo ! well said by blogger and commentor ...