The "S" Word
official snowflake has fallen. Winter is here! People in the city all
rush to the windows to see. Skyscrapers lean under their weight.
"I think it is!"
"Yes! Itís a snowflake!"
Magnifying glasses are brought out as everyone gathers
around to observe the first snowflake of the season. They shake their
heads in wonder and exclaim in unison, "Itís SNOW!"
As realization sweeps over them, panic sets in. A
snowflake could have relatives. Heads turn skyward to see. Cars on the
interstate, impatient for the bad weather that is sure to come, begin
to crash into each by the dozens, even before the snow starts to fall.
In the suburbs, herds of housewives flock to the
grocery store in four-wheel drive vehicles. They quickly clean out the
bread and toilet paper aisles and then move on to the non-perishable
goods. Country mentality still prevails in the South. Stock up
"just in case" you are snowed in.
Wheels spin and skid as the second tiny snowflake of
the season is crushed unnoticed under the wheels of the vehicles. The
herds stampede home in caravans with supplies to stock the cupboards
for the rest of winter while they wait for "The Big Snow."
It is not until the grocery store is totally empty
that the weather reporter announces that the winter storm warning has
been cancelled. It is difficult not to wonder if weathermen and
grocery stores could possibly be in cahoots, periodically announcing a
snow panic just to move merchandise.
Winter in the South Ė how I love it! Southerners do
not have a clue about how to drive in snow. The wise bubbas stay at
home out of harms way. The less astute take to the roads in their
light-ended pickup trucks, driving like rednecks will, spinning out at
every bridge or icy spot. The ditches are soon full of abandoned
Even those southern residents who have lived in the
North where it snows all the time take their lives in their hands
driving on snowy roads in the South, where precious few have any snow
The last "real" snow, an inch or two, was a
few years ago and it took me over four hours to get to work that
morning, a normal drive of about 30 minutes in rush hour traffic. The
mere mention of the "S" word is enough to give any office
worker a migraine sufficient to call in sick over.
Kids love bad weather, of course. As soon as the media
mentions the "S" word, the schools are instantly closed. The
kids stay home to write fan letters to TV's Snowbird, who announces
the latest school closings. It was a long, long, time ago, but
everyone still remembers the horror of the year it snowed after
the kids got to school. Not to worry, that will never happen again.
The best thing about snow in the South is that it
doesnít last long. Most people donít even own a snow shovel. They
just wait for it to melt. Why bother when it will probably be in the
40ís tomorrow? Snowblower? Whatís a snowblower? Snow plows?
Donít make me laugh.
Oops! I think I saw another flake of snow. Wake up the
metro salt crew and tell them itís time to order salt. Looks like
itís snowing. Speaking of salt, we never waste it by salting a
bridge before it is slick. We save it until we are sure it is
The snow is really starting to fall now. The
weatherman predicted, "NO SNOW." That makes it certain there
will be several inches, at least. Itís the snowstorms they DO
predict that never come.
Excuse me now, I feel a headache coming on