Top 10 things I learned in the blizzard…
It has been a week since the first snowflakes fell in the little town I like to call Washington, DC. It kept coming, as that depressing Christmas song says, “snow on snow on snow.”
An ordeal like this changes people. After a few days of whiteout, your mood turns dark. You begin noticing weird things, and then you start numbering them:
10. During the worst onslaught of snow and ice, two distinct groups of people are still out on the streets: the very, very stupid, and the dog owners. Sadly, I belong to at least one of those groups myself…
9. After a few days, the very stupid group begins to thin out, due to people firing up portable generators indoors and using open flames to thaw their gas caps.
8. I have a Reuters colleague who has actually reported from Antarctica – and not the nice, tropical part. I asked her to compare that with this week in DC. She informed me the difference is, Antarctica gets FAR less snow than we get here. Good to know.
7. I learned if you pay only $3.99 for your “snow shovel,” it was probably intended as a beach toy. Mine broke immediately, and I spent six days moving snow around with a kitchen spatula.
6. As I spent my time trying to prevent people with lawyers from slipping on my sidewalk, a Reuters colleague who often edits my blog was basking on a beach in the Bahamas. He’s still alive only because at least he didn’t send me any photos.
5. In a blizzard, the relentless snow and wind can cause weaker people to hallucinate. Hey! Look at all those women in bikinis! Hey look! Cocktails on the beach!
4. Yesterday, I saw some idiot skiing down a steep hill of solid ice that ends at Rock Creek Parkway, where cars were zipping along at 60 miles an hour. He stopped just inches short of becoming road kill, then climbed back up the hill. He said he wanted to do it again but he had to get to work.
WORK? This doofus has a JOB?
3. As the forecasts grew grimmer and the snow kept falling, “Woo-Hoo!” echoed up and down my street, from neighbors happy about so-called “snow days” off from work. Speaking for bloggers who toil from home and never catch a “snow day” break, Woo-Hoo my big butt!
2. This blizzard has brought out the best in our neighbors. After long days of digging out and foraging for supplies, every night we party at someone’s home, sharing food and drink before a crackling fire. Of course, the stores are mostly closed and empty now. Let me look at the party schedule. Tonight we’re going to the Donner house….
1. And finally, on the day when DC reached 700 inches of snow and there were winds of 200 miles an hour – those are my own rough estimates – I got an actual e-mail from a reader named Dan, who said Reuters should stop calling it a blizzard, because “we only briefly had blizzard-like conditions.” I hope one day soon to have five minutes alone in a room with Dan, to apply “ball-peen hammer-like conditions” to his stupid cake-hole.
There. I feel better getting that off my chest. I’m sane again, and off to the Donner Party…
Women in bikinis pose on Sydney’s Bondi Beach in a 2007 file photo. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne
A resident clears snow from the rooftop of his home in Falls Church, Virginia February 8, 2010. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
A foraging Emperor penguin preens on snow-covered sea ice around the base of the active volcano Mount Erebus, near McMurdo Station, the largest U.S. Science base in Antarctica, in a 2006 file photo. REUTERS/Deborah Zabarenko
Miss World contestants on the beach in the Maldives in a 2000 file photo.