Sunday, December 19, 2004

Winter Weather Advisory in DC: We're Goin' to DefCon 1!

This season's first "winter storm advisory" for DC was issued today, with prognostications for 1-2 inches of snow, ice, and high winds. Having grown up in New England where we went to school in 10 inches of snow (just plow it and get the buses on the roads, Sully!), I look forward with a mix of amusement and irritation to "winter weather" here in DC.

As it has in winters past, the advisory has cued the mad dash of all non-New Englander transplants to the grocery store to clear the shelves of bread, milk and diapers in anticipation of [eeeeek!!!!] snow. Even people who do not have kids pile their carts with Pampers because, you know, what if we can't get out in our cars and are stuck in the house? Better to have provisions, to be safe than sorry.

No amount of assuring DC denizens that 1-2 inches of snow, and in fact, even 3-5 inches of snow, are entirely navigable, does a bit of good to stem the grocery store bedlam. "Listen to the Bostonian: You will not get frostbite in your own home, you will not be forced to use newspaper for toilet tissue, you will not have to ponder your capacity for cannibalism after eating wallpaper glue and envelope adhesive for sustenance. It's all going to be okay."

For such an overeducated bunch of folks here in Beltwayland, we sure get wee-wee'd up about some flurries. To be fair, it may be because {as my dear fellow New England friend C says} "the entire state of Maryland has the same number of snow plows as the medium-sized city of Walpole, MA." True dat. But let's surmise that it did take even 72 full hours to clear the roads after a snowfall; would we really be reduced to eating paper and boiling snow for water within 3 days? It may also be because the local TV stations absolutely LIVE and PRAY for snow because it guarantees them rapt viewership. Hence, one local channel's year-round name for its weather operation: {cue the James Earl Jones voice with added reverb} "Storm Center 4." Yep, even in July, it is called Storm Center 4 because, Washington, you just never know when it might snow! And you'll be left homeless, penniless and starving! Tune in at 4, 5 and 6pm to get the latest on whether the snow will bring about an end to life on earth as we know it! ONLY ON STORM CENTER 4!!!

How ludicrous is it? Well, as I've often said: Osama Bin Ladin does not have to find any more creative way to bring the capital of the free world to its knees than to invent an Evil Jihadist Snow Machine. Seriously, should he spray Washington with a mere sprinkling of 3 inches of snow he will control the entire machinery of power for the nation. It will bring the local--and therefore national--economy to its knees, create panic and looting among the citizens, bring all public and private transportation to a halt, and lay waste to our homeland security apparatus.

There's nothing to do but sit back and watch the drama unfold from the security of my pampers-lined, keeblerfudgecookie-stacked pantry.


Miko said...

The sad truth is, here in New England they're raiding the markets, too.

We're becoming a nation of weenies.

Lone Ranger said...

What's odd is how all the bread and milk is swept from the shelves. Do these people go into an orgy of French toast eating when the snow hits? I love the snow, but the last time I bought a car, I opted for flash rather than utility. My 2001 Firebird is useless in even a half inch of the stuff.

Miko said...

Either French Toast or bread pudding. What's strange is that those aren't even the staples any more. I'm not sure why it's that stuff that disappears rather than the Hot Pockets, sugar cereals, GoGurt and frozen pizza that people normally buy.