Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Snowmageddon has brought us many wonderful things. OK, for a day or so, it was wonderful. Now that I have hit the fifth straight day of my confinement, I'm kind of over it. I have run out of clean elastic waistband-oriented clothing, my social skills have eroded, and my stock of Bloody Maria fixings are perilously low. I've flipped out, and flipped into the negative.

So let me tell you all the things that tick me off about big snowfalls. Sadly, none of them have anything to do with actual snow. Heaven's dandruff is cool with me.

1. Snowchismo. That's the macho idiocy some faux-rugged types exhibit in any major snowstorm. Monday, I overheard the statement, "I would just like to point out that I made it to work in my two-wheel drive sedan." Want a cookie? How about a medal, or possibly a parade? (Somewhat related note: those last few sentences took much longer than usual to type, as even now my right hand makes involuntary wanking gestures at the mention of the two-wheel-drive sedan.)

First off, these faux-rugged Snowchismo types tax precious resources because they just HAVE to get to work, so they run off into ditches or otherwise get themselves in trouble. Then the government has to swoop in and rescue them. Unless lives are on the line, be smart and stay home. Otherwise you are just creating more hassle for the rest of us.

If your boss is a Snowchismo, then you've learned that your safety isn't the priority - so your priority should be looking for something better. Oh, and there's a special place in hell for bosses who make their employees report to work, but fail to show up themselves. What would that be, Snowchismo-by-Proxy Syndrome?

Second, whether you believe in God or not, every human has the instinctive knowledge that nature is far, far bigger than what we can imagine, and sometimes nature is going to make herself known. Stop thinking of the world as something to be subdued for the sake of your convenience. Kick back and experience a little awe.

2. SNIMBYs. Snow, Not in My Backyard! These people kick up an enormous stink because they haven't been plowed out yet. Really? You had notice, you knew that this storm was big, that it was coming our way, and it was going to knock us on our butts. You also knew that every local jurisdiction bled its budgets dry cleaning up after December's Snowpocalypse. Did you really think you'd see pavement anytime soon? Besides, the road crews are unfortunately busy weaving around the Snowchismos, and it's causing delays. Toss a slug of Bailey's into your hot cocoa and chill the heck out.

3. Metro Whiners: Aboveground stations close when there are more than eight inches of snow. Why? Because back in the 2003 blizzard, they didn't close...and the tracks and cars sustained damages that crippled the system for a week. Kudos to Metro for keeping even limited service running, and offering plenty of notice before closing aboveground stations on Friday night.

However, if John Catoe would like to make it up to me by pushing me around town in a wheelbarrow, I would happily take him up on that offer.

4. Flinty Carpetbagging McShowoffs. These people combine snowchismo with a heaping helping of Yankee hot air. Yes, you're from somewhere that gets a lot of snow. And you'd like nothing better than to beat your chest and bray about how Minneapolis/Buffalo/Nunavut would have cleared this out in no time flat. Except? They wouldn't. There is nearly three feet of snow out there, and that would cripple even the flintiest of Flintsters. (Also? Washingtonians amp up the hysteria a bit so we can get the day off. Sometimes we even like to wail at the sky for emphasis. Don't mess with our local tradition.)

This is a once-in-a-lifetime winter, that you can brag to your grandkids about. ("We walked uphill both ways, in the snow, only to discover school was cancelled for the week...") So I wish all of Washington could quit with the braying and the whinging, and experience the history and excitement of it all.

In the comments, tell me that in Upper Yankonia, everyone gets to work in two-wheel drive sedans after 80 feet of snow, the plows are made of diamonds, and nothing ever goes wrong.


Sarah said...

Ugh, the Flinty Carpetbagging McShowoffs are the ones that really get me riled up. Today DCist said that DC has had the second-most snowfall of any US city this winter - second only to Syracuse but beating out Rochester, Buffalo, and Ft. Collins. That is NUTS, and a great fact to spout off to quickly shush a FCMcS.

Sarah said...
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Mr. J said...

Can a Florida boy have Snowchismo? No? Ok, then I have nothing to say. I want to go back to work!

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FoggyDew said...

Just now, purely by accident I promise, I was watching as the moron triplets on Fox ragged on the city's winter capabilities, especially metro. "Isn't it a subway" the dark-haired moron triplet asked? Which goes to show how much they know about the area they love to deride. This was followed by another snide comment by the vapid, blonde female moron triplet about how her hometown in Minn., where everyone is related by no more than two degrees, could easily deal with the snowfall.

I quickly fired off a strongly worded missive to them to STFU. I even signed my real name to it.

Shannon said...

Sarah - In your FACE, Rochester! How you like them apples?

Mr J - If anything, a Florida boy would be the best candidate in the world for Snowchismo. So make a beer run in your SUV, drive it straight into a snowbank, and bleat for a while about how your Ford Destroyer should have been able to handle anything.

Foggy - THANK YOU. Good lord, unless you're actually in Washington, you really don't have the right to make fun of us. It is nasty out there.

Mr. J said... this one time, I was driving across Kansas in my Ford Destroyer pickup (4wd is for wimps!) in whiteout conditions with an iced-over windshield and only one passable lane on the interstate. There was no one for miles, no cell phone service, and no gas stations anywhere nearby. When I pulled into Oakley at 1am, I knew I could handle any winter storm.

True story. (Snowchismo enough for you?)

Malnurtured Snay said...

My boss is a total snowmachiso, but fortunately, I think the mass revolt he faced convinced him otherwise -- we got off Monday, today, and will probably be off tomorrow.

Tinksfairy said...

Snowchismos are annoying. They even exist in upstate NY, where I'm from - the Buffalo and Rochester natives get all elitist because they get the lake effect snow, and my town just gets regular upstate NY snow, so we're pansies.

Also, BRRRR.

Erik said...

My growing dislike of the McShowoffs isn't limited to the snow. I'm getting really tired of people from the north saying its not really that cold outside when I'm wearing my scarf. I actually had one Bostonian ask me why I was wearing my scarf one day, when a fellow Bostonian walked in minutes later donning one. I think he was a rare breed of McShowoff mixed with whatever brand of machismo you want, be it cold or snow.

Shannon said...

Mr. J - Wow. THat was so snowchismo that I might be pregnant. With Frosty the Snowfetus.

Snay - I'm picturing peasants with pitchforks and snow shovels.

Tinks - I had no idea there were levels of snowchismo!

Erik - Plus? A scarf totally highlights the face, and brings out the cheekbones!

Bateshorn said...

Awesome post.

For the record, I went to college in central Maine and I NEVER saw anything like this. Totally redonkulus.