Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Me vs. sub-freezing temperatures

We got snow on Sunday. A lot of snow. Not a lot of snow for Alaska, or New York or Denver, or Wisconsin or even cold parts of California or heck even Alabama or anywhere else at all! But for Hippyville it was a LOT of SNOW. It was somewhere between 3 and 4 inches, depend on what news channel you watch. It brought the town to pretty much a grinding halt. You see, because we never, ever get any real snow here we only have a couple of snow plows. And one runs on hemp gas and the other is made of macramé, so you can imagine what a 3rd of a foot of snow can do.

I lived on the east coast for several years, and pretty much every year I was there we experienced The Blizzard of the Century!!!! In the end they weren’t really blizzardy, but they were a nice, big dump of snow. For days, instead of an afternoon. Enough snow so you actually had to worry about driving and all the big parking lots would have mounds of snow in each corner the size of Snow White’s cottage for weeks afterward. So when we get our cute little snow “storms” I just can’t take it seriously. You could say I’m a snow snob. (actually you could try, but you’d find that is much harder to say out loud than you’d expect. Go ahead, try. I’ll wait…)

My snow snobbery meant that the people who couldn’t even get into the office by Monday? I scoffed at them and in my head I called them “wimp!” and “weeny!” I slathered judgment all over them like judgy-butter on a bagel (again, in my head) and pounded my chest in my manly navigating of the lightly-snowed streets!

Cut to last night. I’m hanging out at my sister’s place, and her house is built into the side of a butte. So in front of their place is a fairly steep driveway about 10-12 feet long. And while we’re hanging out in the house it’s pseudo-snowing outside. The wet, slushy snow that doesn’t get anywhere and can’t be used to make anything cool, except maybe a tropical drink (when mixed with the right booze and juice). Time comes for me to leave, and I trek down the driveway with confidence.

About 3 feet from the street I hit a slick patch. This is when I realize that between the end of the slushy snow and right then the temperature did a pretty big dive. Some things have become icy. I check this off in the “good to know” category and I head to a new path. But that one is slick too. And that one, and that one. And not only is that direction slippy, but holy crap I’m having a foot cramp!

I spend the next 5 minutes inching myself in one direction or another, almost losing it entirely and cracking my rump over and over, and occasionally standing around on one foot while I zen-yoga-contort the other one trying to un-cramp it. I’m stuck. Three feet from glory and I’m stuck. I did what anyone would do in that situation.

I called my sister on the cell phone.

“I’m stuck in your driveway.” I say.

“Do you want me to come out and help you push?” she asks.

“No, I mean me. I’m personally stuck. In your driveway.” Looooong Pause… “How do you usually get down your driveway when it’s slick?”

“I normally stay home when it’s slick.”


“I’m stuck. In your driveway.”


“That silence better not be you laughing…”

Finally my brother in law came out with excellent traction boots (for him) and some kind of high-tech scrapy tool (for the driveway) and made me a path. A path upon which I humbly slunk over to my car and manlessly drove myself home. And never, ever judged the snow-challenged ever again.

(Stupid slushy snow.)

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