Wednesday, February 09, 2011
How to prepare for a snow storm if you live anywhere south of Lake Erie
I have exactly 4.2 minutes to pen this as I have to pick up my children early from school today due to possible snow.
True, it’s currently 65 degrees and sunny outside, but we are expecting 3/8 of an inch of snow later this evening so apparently we must have ample time to prepare. As far as I can see, this includes the following steps and complex processes.
1.) Snow must fall at a faster rate in the south than in the north, because we shut down the state long before the first flake is predicted to fall. If the front is forecasted to move in at 4:00 for example, southerners think this means by 4:02 there will be 8 feet of snow on the ground and all thoroughfares will be rendered immediately impassable.
2.) Roads probably will be rendered immediately impassable because the entire southern hemisphere shares 4 snow plows. Which means instead of actual snow removal, southern departments of transportation "brine" the roads. This mysterious and completely useless process includes salting the roads before any hint of precipitation. You still can’t drive safely on a brined road, but it does cure a mean corned beef.
3.) Do not buy anything useful for impending storms like snow shovels, road salt or margarita mix--buy bananas. Bananas have scientifically unproven and unfounded effects on all weather events, but make us feel better, much like a meteorological magnet bracelet that golfers wear or pajama jeans.
(If you can’t find bananas at your grocery store, [and you won’t because they will be sold out] you may substitute milk and/or Wonder Bread.)
4.) Be sure to drop the words black ice in a hushed tone at least 10 times in every conversation. When you question why school is closed for the 8th day in a row when we’re mowing the lawn, wait for the look of horror and the words black ice spat out to you like an exorcism. Just for fun, say, "But it’s above freezing outside." In response, get the sneered, "But that’s what makes it so dangerous, you can’t see black ice. Moron." Answer, "Then how do you know it’s there?"
5.) Lose all the new friends you worked so hard to make in the fall.
6.) For every inch of snow predicted, the negative amount will actually accumulate.
7.) On the day of the anticipated storm, watch for the school closings reeling along the bottom of your television screen. This is actually a complete waste of time, because if one school closes, every single learning institution and dry cleaner will follow within the hour.
(Except my son’s elementary school that must have administrators from Nunavut and won’t cancel school unless the students’ desks are frozen shut and they used up all the butane on freeing up the chalkboard erasers.)
8.) And speaking of watching television, the Channel 5 doppler radar in Nashville, Tennessee has the prognosticating capabilities of Nostradmous. It is capable of crippling an entire municipal government at the mere mention of the white stuff weeks before in a 5 p.m. newscast. People unwaveringly entrust their entire lives to what that computer graphic depicts. It can not only predict snow, but the next 10 Super Bowl and Idol winners. (Which kind of begs the question why aren't the folks at NOAA tuned into this super, southern-exclusive technology? Or at least the KGB and ESPN.)
9.) If any snow actually makes it to the ground, it will certainly melt before the 4th hour of the Today Show. After your kids make mud men, mud-gloos and have mudball fights, you may want to rethink that big pot of chili served in front of the fire for dinner. Serve popsicles and ice water instead.
10.) Make banana bread for dessert.