Snow, Snow, Snow . . . SNOW!

Warning: Rant to follow!

Over the weekend we got socked with a snow, sleet, and freezing rain storm, in that order. If you didn’t shovel between the snow and sleet you were stuck with mounds of ice. Good thing it was over the weekend because few people had to drive in it.

Last night we got hit with a good amount of snow. Four to six inches depending on where you were measuring. I measured the top of our garbage carts. It was closer to eight.

The funny thing about the first few snowfalls in Wisconsin is: everyone forgets how to drive. Or maybe it isn’t so much that they forget, now that I think on it, it’s more that they drive like jerks no matter what the weather is. No one drives considerately these days no matter what the season is.

You want to drive fast in the snow. Go ahead. Your 4×4 isn’t going to stop any quicker than my car is, but you’ll find that out soon enough. Then, while you’re either piled into someone’s backend or you’ve gone off the road into a ditch that even your vaunted 4×4 can’t get you out of, I’ll drive by and go “Ha ha!” like that Nelson kid from The Simpsons.

But it’s not the maniacs so much that piss me off, I always believe what goes around comes around and they’ll get their comeuppance once day. I just hope they keep extra blankets and snacks in the vehicle so they don’t starve or freeze to death waiting for the authorities to find them trapped under a ton of fallen snow.

Yes, I’m evil.

The ones that really annoy me are the cautious drivers, the namby-pamby, “Oh, I see a snowflake, I’m going to spin out!” white knuckle, nose-pressed-to-the-windshield drivers who hold up the rest of us who know how to drive in snow.

For these people I have a special message. If you don’t know how to drive in snow, MOVE! Go down south where I hear there are some people who have never ever seen snow in their entire lives. You’ll be happier for it and we’ll all be happier with you GONE!

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of the speed demons I was just complaining about. I don’t speed in these conditions. I’m a defensive driver. I do the speed I think the roads demand. I respect the weather. But give me a break. Driving respectfully of conditions isn’t the same as driving terrified.

Criminey. Last night I got stuck behind one of these frightened drivers. She was driving a brand spanking new SUV and yet she was doing about 25 in a 45! Hello! The snow just started! It hasn’t even accumulated anywhere! The gas pedal is the long one on the right! Push it already!

And this morning, despite the fairly decent job maintenance crews did clearing the roads – they were mostly wet with a little snow cover, certainly nothing to write home about – there were still several white knucklers on the road. As a lifelong resident of Wisconsin I have a news flash: these are what we call NORMAL DRIVING CONDITIONS FOR WINTER! Get used to it. Or, as I suggested earlier, move.

So this morning I lost count of how many of these fraidy-cat drivers there were, all of them doing about 25 or 30 in areas where the speeds were supposed to be almost twice that. Granted, nobody was doing 55 on these roads, but we were still driving a reasonable speed. These candyass drivers were holding up entire lanes of traffic, causing people to swerve into the other faster moving lanes to pass them. This is what causes accidents: people being forced to move from a slow lane into a high-speed lane to pass these idiots.

Here’s some advice for you people. Get your cars winterized. Make sure your tires are in decent shape. Make sure they are inflated properly. Get your brakes checked. Then DRIVE for cryin’ out loud!

And get the hell out of my way!

end rant

That said, it’s a beautiful winter wonderland out there and I’m finally in the mood for Christmas. Deck the halls with boughs of holly, light the lights, put on White Christmas, and pass the eggnog.

-30-

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17 thoughts on “Snow, Snow, Snow . . . SNOW!

  1. I thought we might get snow last night. Then, we didn’t. I was crushed.

    The husband loves snow too, but he won’t move anywhere. You should see people drive around here. It’s hilarious.

  2. We had around the same amount of snow as you did, Ed. Once the storm dumped on us, the front edge of it moved to you.

    And likewise, everyone forgets how to drive. “What is this white stuff???” they all say, “What do I do? I make car go fast??”

    It’s sort of like hanging around sheep all the time. Sheep, not being very smart, are stunned every day by the bright ball that comes up in the sky, and are absolutely blown away by all this green stuff that’s around for them to eat! It’s like living with that.

    For example.

    A mini-van had some engine trouble, the other night, during the storm. So, he stopped his minivan in the middle of the lane of traffic, the old yoopie (he had Michigan plates)got out and popped the hood and lit up a cigarette and poked around…

    …while other cars tried not to slam into him, tried to merge into the next lane on slick roads, nearly killing THOSE people, because they had never properly merged into another lane, apparently. And so on.

    I would like to haughtily point out that I have NONE of these problems walking. 😛 Although I am probably in greater danger of being run over and reduced to a stain on the snow. So never mind.

  3. Oh, that reminds me. I was on the expressway during a snowstorm once, and this van was driving next to me. He had done the typical “tank” clearing of his vehicle. That’s where you just clear small patches on your windshield and you end up having as much visibility as you would if you were driving a tank.

    So traffic is somewhat slow because of the snow and this moron has to slam on his breaks. Because he didn’t clear the 8 inches of snow on the roof of his vehicle, this all slide forward, stopping over his windshield, completely obscuring his vision.

    Of course this amount of snow is too heavy for his windshield wipers, so for the next several miles this guy is driving with his head OUT THE WINDOW so he can see.

    Moron.

  4. You guys should try driving up here when it snows! First you get the drivers who moved here from california who’ve never seen snow. Then the old folks who have to get to Bingo and still have the seatbelt hanging out the bottom of the door. Then a few miles later you’re into SUV territory, where the dipwads who think because they’re bigger, they won’t slide on the ice.

    Oh, by the way, when it snows here it lands on frozen pavement – yanno, black ice – so you’re moving along just fine then it’s the Volvo Ballet featuring every old sedan and thread-bare tire in the county.

    Meanwhile, so long as I can find ways around the yahoos, my little Beetle steadily moves along.

  5. Aside from the “getting smeared into a greasy pulp by a crazy driver” bit, the worst that can happen to me walking is I pull a muscle. Well, I suppose worse could happen, but that’s the worst I’ve ever done. I have only ever slipped while walking once, the past six years or so.

    Of course, it happened to be while I had a fractured toe AND while I was holding my son, so it could have been timed better. But we landed violently on my butt and now his, so I guess that’s okay.

    I LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR!

    I love bad weather. In the summer, I am giddy and restless and prowling in the middle of thunderstorms, because I love them so dearly. I like the change of weather in the fall. And I like winter because it’s months of bad weather and storms.

  6. It LOOKS like some snow may be headed our way, which thrills me to pieces. But who knows what could happen between St. Louis and Evansville.

    I enjoy being able to stay home and enjoy the snow.

  7. Well, I’m not sure I LOVE bad weather, that seems to be asking for trouble, but I certainly do enjoy it if I don’t have to be IN IT.

    I love a good thunderstorm. Puts me to sleep instantly (only to be awakened by a certain 7-year-old who fears them).

    They, like a good snowstorm, are great to watch through the picture window (as long as power doesn’t go out).

    My only gripe about winter storms, as opposed to thundershowers, is I have to shovel.

    But nothing a good hot tea with buckwheat honey won’t cure.

  8. And quit being my twin, Pete! Gawd! *Digs around for some angst.*

    I really enjoy weather, too. The last couple of years, I’ve meant to take a Weather Spotter course, but I’ve always forgotten. Storms are awesome to watch. My lottery hosue would have a great view of incoming storms.

    *Strolls off to mark her calendar to remember to enroll in a Weather Spotter course.

  9. Didn’t realize one needed to take a course to spot weather.

    I can spot weather just looking out my window.

    It’s like the old joke about the weather rock. If its wet, it’s rainng. If its white, its snowing. If you can’t see it, its nighttime.

  10. Kristine, upstream, mentioned black ice and Volvo ballets. That reminds me of the time many years ago when I was driving to work on the freeway and I’m coming to the point of the freeway where it ends and becomes a city street. Its the middle of winter and I start applying my brakes for the coming stop and realize I’m not stopping. The entire freeway from stem to stern is nothing but a solid ice rink. A movement out of the corner of my eye made me turn to watch a car doing continuous circles, complete 360 degree turns, over and over as he passed me.

    Luckily, I didn’t panic, applied gentle brake pressure and my car slowed enough that I finally got it under control. But it was a hair-raising few minutes.

    Only one other time scared me almost as much and that was when I realized my brakes had froze as I came upon a red light. Again, luck was on my side as I passed through the red light unmolested. Screaming, yes, but unmolested nonetheless.

  11. Yanno, Pete, just walking along the sidewalk can be deadly.

    Many (many) winters ago, my sister and I found ourselves snowed in over in the big city where we lived, and couldn’t get home for Thanksgiving. It was fine, we cooked a nice turkey meal after hiking to the store – but the next day we were walking the five miles down hill to our work places, where our snowed-in cars were parked, and it was nearly the end of us !

    There we were, walking along the side of the road – no sidewalks on this road, but there was so much snow it wouldn’t have made a difference. We’re bundled up, walking single file along this road, when suddenly from behind me my sister yells RUN! and she pushes me. I had no idea what was going on, but we were two single women in the city . . . so I ran.

    She just kept yelling RUN and DON’T STOP! So we ran, then came to an intersection – no cars around – and she screams KEEP RUNNING!

    We cross the lanes, then she grabs my coat and says it’s OK now. I turn back and there had been a snow plow behind us, his big shovel-piece taller than we were, his windshield completely obscured by snow and ice, pushing the very snow we’d been walking on down over the embankment. He had no clue we were there.

    Luckily for us, he turned at the intersection and continued plowing along, oblivious to any pedestrians.

    I figure, had my sister not realized what was coming up behind us, they wouldn’t have found our bodies until the thaw.

    Looking back, it has become one of those fun stories from your youth that you amaze your nieces and nephew with.

  12. Well, it was 80 today. Yes, we wore shorts to the annual Christmas parade, thank you very much.

    But we do get sporadic icy weather about twice a year and people absolutely freak out. Panic ensues. It’s better to stay home because all those fraidy cats you told to move South have taken you up on the offer. They live here.

    We haven’t had a freeze yet this year. I’m still growing basil in my garden. Maybe before Christmas I’ll see frost.

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