Tuesday, November 28, 2006

An Excess of Weather

We here in the soggy corner of the map are having just a bit of excitement. To answer the amused questions from the other coast, yes, we have snowplows. I think we have two. We can't use salt because that would discombobulate the salmon or something. Sand is allowed but for some reason I haven't seen much in use--possibly because I am stuck in my house, possibly because they are using it all on the freeways. We get these storms about every 10 or 15 years, meaning we have a whole crop of newbies who have never seen snow here or know what to expect. I'll just say my commute Monday evening took 8 hours from Seattle, and I had to walk part of the way. Lots of abandoned cars, some in extremely awkward places.

The most amusing part of the whole business (besides watching the kids have a blast playing in the snow) was the people who thought that having a four-wheel-drive/SUV/Hummer/ginourmous expensive truck exempted them from the laws of physics. Just so you know, four-wheel-drive on ice is just as much a hocky puck as a Geo Metro. I've lived in Maine, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania so I know how to drive on ice and snow. It does NOT involve stomping on the gas pedal and hearing your tires whirr as you go nowhere.


Ode to Two SUVs My Venerable Neon Passed One Miserable Snowy Evening

O, once so proud to block my view,
Contemptuous pride of vehicle immense,
Now immobile and in awkward pose,
Half-tilted in a friendly ditch
Move, I implore thee, big fat-assed car
I must go home to starving cats
Even now calling Missing Human Hotline
What do you mean, you can't?
I thought thee powerful and studly!
Untroubled by glaciers and tornadoes, if you believe the ads
My little cheap car, driven well, moves on
Without skidding.
Noble generosity of spirit
Prevents me from grinning until out of view.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

8 hours? How much freakin' snow is this? I've driven from your house to Seattle and I can't picture this.

5:03 AM, November 29, 2006  
Blogger Snarkatron said...

Only 3 inches, but it got pounded into ice by all the traffic. Plus the busses weren't issued chains until late and they got stuck on the slightest inclines and blocked lanes. Plus a tractor-trailer got stuck and blocked all of northbound 405, meaning all north traffic near me had to feed into this little two-land back road (with a hill) That's where I passed the two stuck SUVs ;-)

6:27 AM, November 29, 2006  
Blogger Barb said...

Maggie - it is exactly because the local-and-clueless drivers are unprepared for snow (much less ice) that the thing escalated so wonderfully. Many clueless twits slid gracefully (in vehicles large and small) onto the sides of roads (large and small), and created obstacle courses around which the next vehicles (driven by more clueless) tried to maneuver, thus adding their cars to the scenery. And so it went.

I got off lucky - the drive home on Monday was nothing, since I live only 8 miles away on side streets. Tuesday morning, the most excitement I had (after successfully exiting my driveway - much salt and a 4WD were required) was navigating around the occasional car left behind the night before, and trying NOT to ride up the butt-end of the clueless twits in front of me who kept flinching with their braking foot.

As BCR informed me in email - I'm a piker ;-)

7:48 AM, November 29, 2006  
Anonymous Martin said...

Sounds like you were in the line of cars that spent over 6 hours backed up in front of my house. My street is one of the detours between Totem Lake and points north. The bright spot of all this is that my new driver son is getting slippery road driving practice in our ancient Bronco and liking it.

4:42 PM, November 30, 2006  

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