Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow Joke

When the weathermen and women of yonder New York City warn you that snow will fall it is usually best to take minimal precaution. That's because they're usually wrong. No offense intended here but if weather forecasts were batting averages, our local meteorologists would be right there with the Chicago Cubs.

It wasn't so many years ago that we were warned of the 'big one' approaching. The tsunami of winter weather supposedly headed towards Manhattan. Schools were closed a day in advance. Salt was emptied frantically from shakers all over the city, creating small mountains of sodium. Dogs were equipped with booties to protect their little paws from the salt, and we were advised to stock up on food supplies to help us through the longhaul, i.e. the bodega closing for an hour to let the poor Flower Guy take a loo break. We did as told and thus prepared, we waited. And waited. And waited. But the sky remained obstinately clear and as the night grew silent, heavy with the white stuff, no doubt, and even the most obstinate among us sat by the window, expectantly, it became apparent that this mammoth event was going to take place in the wee hours. So reluctantly, we went to bed -- sleds ready, alarm clocks turned off.

Next morning the kids were up at the crack of dawn -- it being a snow day and no school it made perfect sense that they were out of their beds -- and already at the window, where, lo and behold, the view outside offered a bright, sunny day, with blue skies, clear pavements, and nary a flake in sight (unless you count my neighbor, Connie, on her morning jog. She waved.).

So nowadays, one really does have to invoke that old Aesop fable, Cry Wolf. When they tell you it's going to snow, you must laugh loudly, ho ho ho, and say "I'll believe it when I see it." And you mean it, until the one rare occasion (about a week ago) when you emerge unknowingly from your lobby and step directly into a six foot snowdrift. Crap! Who the hell said anything about snow?!

But not this morning buddy. No matter that the kids were up at 5am again, listening to the morning news as they have never have, hearing things that they never have, discovering the meaning of the word 'exaggeration.' As in Mark Twain reading his own obituary, the news reports of a coming blizzard were greatly overstated. And so it was with much anger and resentment that one of my teenagers stormed out of the house at 7am, sans gloves, muttering angrily to himself about time lost on the slopes.

Next time, man. There'll always be a next time. Any day now, we believe.

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