Yesterday’s Absence

PG apologizes for not demonstrating proof of life on TPV yesterday.

Casa PG had quite a bit of snow yesterday. And the day before yesterday. And the day before that.

Neighborhood skiers have all disappeared.

Along with their vehicles.

One mentioned skiing to PG prior to his disappearance.

PG is willing to admit that skiing actually happens. However, he also suspects that skiing may also be a ruse to avoid shoveling snow.

When giant or semi-giant snow is forecast, the rusor escapes to some snowless place until the snow in the neighborhood finally melts, then returns with a tan and brags about how great the slopes were to every rusee who stayed and shoveled. Thus the rusor is proclaimed as the master or mistress of snow, seeking and conquering the stuff at its deepest wherever it may lie while mere mortals just push bits of it off the sidewalk.

However, no one who resorts to this ruse king of the slopes strategy to avoid clearing their driveway is ever willing to make the sacrifice of reclining beside a pool in the warm sun, a glass of liquid with a little paper umbrella close at hand, wearing ski goggles. If they think of it at all in their langor, they probably believe that tan lines resulting from their sunglasses will fool people into thinking they were wearing goggles on the slopes.

This allows an astute observer like PG to know that no pristine white slope was sacrificed to relieve his neighbor from the Puritanical virtue of shoveling a lot of snow even when more snow will fall during the coming night, a task that Sisyphus would have recognized.

(Yes, PG knows that some people wear sunglasses while they ski, but kings and queens of the slopes always descend so rapidly through the deepest snow that sunglasses would be quickly dislodged. Besides, no one ever sees a a high-speed Winter Olympics ski champion not wearing goggles or sporting a goggles tan.)

On a serious note, PG notes that many in Texas and other southern states, have experienced widespread and prolonged power outages due to a period of extreme cold following an ice storm that has cut off electrical power for millions.

For visitors to TPV who live in warmer climes, an ice storm can be much more destructive and disruptive than even a snow storm.

Ice can bring down multiple electric power lines in rapid succession, triggering outages that can quickly spread across cities and regions. Ice can make driving impossible, even for large trucks responding to fires and trucks that bring much of what people need to live in metropolitan areas and smaller trucks that distribute it from central warehouses. Most US food stores rely upon daily delivery of food via trucks to replenish their shelves and have room for no more than 2-3 days supplies of non-perishable foods in attached storage spaces.

In southern states, many people don’t have cold-weather clothing because they don’t need it. Fireplaces are decorative. Wood stoves or coal stoves are virtually non-existent. Even layering up with ten golf shirts or 15 sun dresses won’t keep you warm.

7 thoughts on “Yesterday’s Absence”

  1. Très droll.
    Two thumbs up.
    Have you considered writing a series of similar essays on everyday life?
    It worked nicely for Dave Barry…

      • Dunno.
        The neighbor claiming sking as an excuse not to shovel snow sounds like him. Mike zroyko, too.
        (I can imagine the neighbor on a couch with shades and a tanning lamp to the face to fake the aftermath.l

  2. Okay, I totally LOL’d when I read this: “…the rusor escapes to some snowless place until the snow in the neighborhood finally melts, then returns with a tan and brags…”

    Very Dave Barry-esque. 😉

    And I just noticed someone else said the same thing! LOL – True story, I didn’t see that until after I wrote it, so I’m keeping it in, no one can stop me!

  3. Very true about the southern states vs. the northern states being prepared for different situations. I live in the nation’s dangly bits, and even a little dusting of snow where I live would be a case of statewide emergency. I have fond childhood memories of local news stations running all night updates during particularly cold snaps that threatened the crops. A Cat 3? Concerning, but old hat. I’ve got the stuff for a hurricane. Cold weather? Well, my flipflops are built for sand and asphalt, not ice, and my winter coat is my Doctor Who sweatshirt.

    (I’m also that obnoxious relative who visits northern relatives in the summer and comments on how pleasantly warm it is while everyone else is crawling around on the floor trying to find water.)

    Poor Texas has my deepest sympathies.

    • Agreed on Texas, in principle. North Texas in particular.

      Some of the impacted people are in Houston, which is hit by hurricanes regularly. (They just had Harvey a couple years back.) They know (or should) know how to deal with extreme weather events. Some of the media reports I’ve heard coming out of Houston (left without food because of lack of power) are a bit much to, ahem, swallow.
      (What, no sliced bread and cold cuts? Or crackers? Canned tuna or chicken? Or…)

      Storms, whether snow or tropical are things you see coming days in advance (unlike earthquakes and asteroid impacts) and people in hurricane areas generally know to stock up on batteries, bottled water, canned food, and even camping stoves and even generators.

      So yes, griping about the cold is fair. Griping about lack of food or water isn’t. Adults should act like adults. They *were* warned, you know.

      As for the “dangly states”, I always found it amusing how DC falls apart with a half inch of snow.

  4. If they don’t stay gone long enough, those escaping come back to driveways where the plows have conveniently piled ALL the neighborhood snow in a very tall, very hard blockade. ‘Long enough’ is weeks of warm weather.

    That was NJ, at least.

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