Friday, December 3, 2010

Just Another Snow Job


There. Now I've done it. By simply uttering, nay typing that word, you felt a very slight twinge just above your kidneys where adrenaline says, "Oh my goodness! Run to the store! Get milk! Get bread! Get wax for your sled's runners! Get those great cheese crackers with the Monterrey jack and smoked cheddar flavor! Stock up on cottage cheese, even though you haven't eaten it since 1980 -a blizzard is coming and you don't know how many days you're going to be shut in! Martial law is coming! Doors will be locked!

Now that you've returned from the store, put away that $562.87 worth of microwave pizza, raisin bread, root beer, hamburgers, and snickerdoodle cookies that have to last until, um, Tuesday. Rationing food is essential for survival in such harsh conditions.

We're motivated more by wishful thinking than by fear of being snowed in without food, of course. We all remember snow days. In fact, I remember them so well that I experience PTSD symptoms whenever I think of sledding down an icy Wyndale Drive, cutting sharply onto Wynmere Drive, and promptly flipping over and going through a neighbor's hedge head first and upside down while looking up at my sled (or what was left of it).  Some guys have wrecked at Daytona. I wrecked at twenty miles per hour on a sled in my own neighborhood. That comes in handy when you're torn up and bleeding from places you forgot you had and you're only a block away from home (and the sixteen loaves of bread mom picked up because she correctly anticipated that we'd all be snowed in).

We remember, with fondness, such memories because we want to revisit simpler, less challenging times. When it snows, the first thing you think about is "gotta get the runners on the sled waxed!" Go on, admit it. You know you do. You begin thinking about where the nearest steep hill is, and your train of thought is guided images of sleds shooting down at warp speed with arctic-cold snow getting scooped inside your coat. The inner child comes out like that scene in "Alien". You call in to work to find out whether or not to come in, and when the answer is "no", pure, honest id takes over.

That's when the thought of going as fast as you can down the nearest snowy hill occurs. You want a reprieve from adult responsibilities faced throughout the workweek. It's also when the thought of "I hope I remembered to get sour cream at Kroger last night" also occurs. I know this, because I was parked in the pharmacy lot when you sneaked in from the side street, trying to con us with that casual "I'm only here for bottled water and a magazine" look. You thought that no one would see you stocking up on sled wax and frozen pizzas, since most others were panicking their way down aisle 7 for spare light bulbs in case the power goes out. (Note: yes, some people do this. We don't play with those types of folks. We don't.)

More snow may be coming in the weeks ahead, though probably not a lot of it. That's okay, though. Even though the last coats of wax wore off after racing down the hill toward those four parked cars you just knew you could avoid, the stores will still have wax on the shelves next Wednesday when the skies are blue and clear, and the temperature is 51 degrees.

When snow does arrive in a couple of weeks, you'll have enough wax for the sled and enough bread to last until spring.

That's when the run on charcoal begins.

1 comment:

  1. Robert: You are hilarious - and we've all had those sledding/hedge experiences. I did that once with my tricycle - going down a hill with my feet straight out I lost control and ran into the prize-winning rose bushes of my scary old neighbor Mr. Johnson. Now I realize he was probably my age; still, he was staying over me with hedge clippers and I thought I was dead. . . thanks for making me laugh -