Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Snow and Seattle: A worse couple than McCain-Palin

I wonder if the Mayan calendar or Nostradamus prophesied about snowfall in Seattle. Every time we get the white stuff here, life as we know it morphs into something out of the Book of Revelation.

Yesterday marked the forty-seventh anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination, one of our nation's defining moments, yet for those of us who live in the Seattle area, we'll just wait until next year and think twice as hard about number forty-eight. Come on, it snowed.

When it snows here, people choose up sides. They're either on the squad of those who panic and leave work with the first dusting, or they join the team of those who stay too long and leave work together in their rear-wheel-drive Lebarons. If you're a member of the latter group, it doesn't matter if cars litter the roadside like Camel butts, because dammit, you know your skills and your equipment. You'll make it.

Oops, you didn't make it.

I always make the mistake of turning on the local news when it snows, maybe just to get a glimpse of the Automotive Ice Capades. Reporters love this stuff—they plant themselves with a camera crew at the base of Queen Anne or Capital Hill and tape the poor suckers as they skid one after another into the ditch or another car. At this point, the camera will pan over to the reporter in her Action22 News Parka as she analyzes the situation:

"I'm standing here at the bottom of Denny Way in downtown Seattle, where it's snowing. As you can see, it's snowing where I stand as well as at the top of the hill, where our Action22 Superzoom video camera is providing a spectacular shot of some different snow. And now, as you can see, I'm bending over to scoop up some snow with my Action22 gloves, available on our website. This snow is cold and white. Please, if you don't have to go out in this snow, don't go out in it, and if you do, please wear pants, shoes, socks, a shirt and maybe another pair of pants. Back to you, Gil."

Always riveting. Why do I watch? No idea.

Of course, I'm not going to put myself above everyone else and claim that my behavior doesn't change during a winter wonderland. I always feel the need to set out on foot in search of provisions. You'd think that if I didn't fulfull my quest and make it to Safeway for some cheese and a sixpack of IPA, I'd be faced with deciding which family member to eat first. I always feel so satisfied upon entering the supermarket, a frozen Fu Manchu of snot coating my face as I traverse the aisles. I rarely give myself pause to ponder that the grocery store is fully staffed, fully stocked and the parking lot is filled with cars. Who cares? I made it.

I am a Seattlite. I wear odd clothes when it snows. I keep them in the basement and bring them out like Halloween decorations or camping equipment. The idea is to wear the tight stuff under the loose stuff for maximum warmth (please see the above image of my daughter and wife). Some people, like two women I saw at Safeway, only wear spandex and that's only acceptable if they are crawling out of their bobsled or paying tribute to Freddie Mercury.

Another blizzard of fun in the Emerald City.

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