Saturday, January 29, 2011

Baltimore snowfalls are:

If you live here, you know what this is all about!
  • the most insane shopping rush you will ever see.  People have to get to the Bag 'N' Save for bread, milk and toilet paper.  And kitty litter, Halite and rock salt. And when there is no kitty litter, Halite or rock salt to be found, they will buy Morton Salt in the blue box and spread that on their sidewalks.  True.
  •  the woman up the street upbraiding the "plow truck" driver for not plowing the street to her exact specifications, wishes, wants, desires and timing.
  • people calling plows "plow trucks" in the same inexplicable way we call ATMs "ATM Machines," which is really saying "Automatic Teller Machine Machines."  From the Department of Redundancy Department.
  • Motorists doing "the weave."  This is the zipper-like conflation of multiple lanes of traffic  - e.g. people who thought they were going to go south on Charles Street  - into two lanes of cars forced to make a left turn they did not wish to make, because the police blocked the intersection off due to icing. Etiquette dictates that every car in the existing line will allow one and only one - no more, no less - car from the line of people whose plans were just knocked into a cocked hat.  Ahem.
  • People wearing cocked hats.  What's more, you'll see any old thing pressed into service as a hat when the sleet starts hitting the caps, stocking caps, hoodie hoods, shopping bags, sauce pans.
  • Conservatives taking liberal leave.  It just doesn't follow and should not be allowed.
  • Wild-eyed meteorologists gesticulating wildly, as if their prediction mentioned giant meteors the size of Rex Ryan landing by the hundreds all across our area.  There's one guy - I won't mention his name, but it rhymes with "Marty Bass" - who actually seems to assume the persona of a hellfire and brimstone Alabama preacher, giving an altar call on a sticky humid Birmingham August evening.  "I tell ya - it's coming! And when it gits here, whoa Nellie, Katie bar the door!  We're gonna be a-shovelin' til Tuesday!  It's coming, I can feel it, I toleja all about it, and you know we're ready to face it!"  Is he talking about some snow here, or the Wrath of the Lamb?   
  • People marking "their" personal parking spots on the street with chaises lonques (locally known as "Chaiyze lounges,") plastic deck chairs, upended trash cans and makeshift flags, such as a dish towel stapled to a yardstick.  It's understandable that after two hours of digging the Biscayne out, one would want to park in that cleared-off spot after work, but how's one gonna stop it when the boyfriend of the girl next door, the surly kid with the loud stereo and the boom-boom-boom, parks his machine there?  Block off your spot, Bunky!  Mark it and claim it!
  •  The annual vow of the worn-out shovelers that THIS will be the last year they handle a winter without a snowblower.  This is usually followed by an April rationalization that says, "The very time I buy a snowblower, it won't snow worth doodly anymore."  So they don't, and it does.
  • People clunking around the office in their big ol' Timberlands or LL Bean Duck Shoes or CAT boots or whatever.  Clodhoppers and Waffle Stompers leave their salty soggy trails from locker rooms to board rooms, and the patent leather dancing pumps are left at home to dance on their own.
  • People abandoning cars on interstate highways, and then, two days later, calling the State Police, mad as hornets because their Hornet got towed away.  When they see the tow and storage charges, they won't be one bit happier.
  • Times when people study pictures like this on their ginormous tv screens more carefully than Gen. Eisenhower examined pictures of the Normandy coast in the spring of 1944.  And with about as much fear and worry!

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