Four inches of snow in some parts of Atlanta last night.

Four inches.

Dear God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Us?

Depending on where you live that may not sound like much, but the operative part of that first line was not “four inches” but “in Atlanta”. Not Philadelphia. Not New York. Not Fargo. Atlanta. Let me put this in perspective for you:

In Atlanta, we start closing schools and businesses when it MIGHT POSSIBLY snow. A forecast of any kind of frozen water will clean out every grocery story, gas station, and Blockbuster Video in the entire state. Exaggeration? TRY to find any of the southern staples (Bread, Milk, Beer, DVD’s and propane) within driving distance of ANYWHERE in Atlanta now. Go ahead… try! A “Winter Storm Watch” is the like a Presidential Announcement declaring the commencement hostilities against God, the Russians, AND China, simultaneously. Duck, Cover, and stop by the store on the way home. And that’s just for the forecast.

Ice actually descending from the sky sparks a panic the likes of which you have never seen. I’m talking mass hysteria. People forget how to drive. Hell… people forget where they LIVE. Gravity? Inertia? Friction and the Conservation of Momentum? “SCREW THAT, MAN, THERE’S ICE LITERALLY FALLING FROM THE SKY!!! FROM THE GODDAMN SKYYYY!!!”

To actually HAVE snow on the ground is pretty much the end of the world. We southerners LOSE OUR SHIT. Actually, that’s not a total truth; there are really THREE kinds of reactions, or, as I call them, the “Three Stages of Southern Winter Panic”:
1) Panic: These are the People Who Lose Their Shit ™. When you don’t know snow, overreaction IS the proper reaction. For these people, snow is like electricity or fire: Assume it wants to kill you. Act accordingly and you’ll be okay. Probably.
2) Denial: These are the People Who Act Like Nothing Has Happened, as if they carry their own special Laws of Physics with them wherever they go. These are the folks who’s vehicles end up decorating the trees on the sides of the highways like biomechanoid ice sculptures. Ever seen a pickup truck IN a tree? One of these guys put it there. Double bonus points if the truck is brand new.
3) Paranoia: These are folks like ME who lock themselves away in abject terror of groups 1 and 2. I’ve been in both groups, and now I wouldn’t trust either one of those jackasses These people are scary and will get you killed on the road. It’s the end of the world out there and the apocalypse has no special dispensation for fools. Stay clear. And keep your truck out of my tree.

But what’s the big deal, it’s just four inches of snow, right?

Yeah. Four inches in a place where it might snow one inch every two years, MAYBE. Our infrastructure can’t handle that much drama. WE can’t handle that much drama. We’re just not used to it! Why did we have total gridlock on a major highway at MIDNIGHT last night? Because the Georgia Department of Transportation is made up of people from GEORGIA… not New York, or any such place where this happens regularly. Hell, half of our population is physically incapable of shoveling snow! (“HRRNNNNN, My Heart!”). I damn near crippled myself the last time I tried to put on some tire chains… and I was following the directions!

So don’t point and laugh at us too loudly. We don’t know any better, and there’s really no reason for us TO know any better. Besides, when the end of the world finally DOES come, we’ll be well-practiced.

At least the kids are having fun.


  1. Kragon, February 13, 2010:

    Yeah, I can understand, I have friends that live in the Atlanta area and I was talking to them last night about the situation down there. I’m actually gonna see it first hand the weekend of the 19th. I’ll try not to laugh too hard at ya. Me, I live up here in Michigan, where we have over a foot of snow on the ground right now. Count yourself lucky. I’ll trade places with you any day my friend.

  2. nate, February 14, 2010:

    Damn. I live in Marylayd, about midway between Baltimore and Washington DC. Right now I’ve got almost twice as much snow in my yard as you do Kragon. That’s MARYLAND with TWICE THE SNOW IN MICHIGAN!!! And that’s after two days of strong sun and settling. I measured 29 inches two days ago, in an untouched open area of my yard.

    Today we had drifts close to 4 feet tall in the driveway. Snow banks on the sides of the road where the county has piled it are well ove 12 feet high.

    Predictions are for another 1-6 inches tomorrow.

    DI, around here the biggest problem we seem to have are the joyriders. Jackasses who think that because their vehicle is 4X4 they can go anywhere. There are also the dumbasses who are tying sleds to the back bumper of their SUV and pulling their kids down the road. I’m not shitting you about that either. I heard of two families being ticketed for that stunt. Then we also get the joyriders who find out that 4X4 DOESN’T mean invincible to snow, and they ABANDON their vehicles in the middle of the highway making it impossible for the road crews to clear the lanes.

    I swear, if people would just stay in the house for one, maybe two, days and let the work get done we’d all have a much safer time of it.

  3. Kragon, February 15, 2010:

    Wow! 2 feet in that region is nuts. AS far as snow goes around my area, we lucked out. We haven’t got as much as we have in the past. Not like two years ago when we got around 4 feet. It looks as if the east coast and parts of the south got hit the hardest this winter. That is pretty messed up.

    But the winter is not over yet. In Michigan there is a old saying that goes: If you don’t like the weather just wait 5 minutes. That always rings true. With our luck we will end up having a snow storm in May. It has happened in the past.

    But both of you guys watch yourselves. mostly you DI. Living in a place where snow is a rare commodity. That is when the asshole drivers are at their worst. Nothing is worst then a 16 year old driving on a road of snow and ice while talking on his/her cellphone.

  4. nate, February 15, 2010:

    I’m with Kragon on this one, Be extra careful watching out for the Jackasses DI.

    Kragon – We’ve got that same saying here. Must be pretty universal. At least this morning the predictions are for only 1-2 inches in my area. I can remember big snows two or three times in my life, but what hit our area that was unusual was two of them within a week of time. Each one dumping 16-25 inches depending on where you were. Before we had completely recovered from the first one, the second one started.

    I saw on the news this morning that Atlanta has more snow than Vancouver. That’s really mixed up.

    Global Warming? Climate Change? God showing us He’s still in control? Natural variation? Who knows?

    One of the scout leaders said that if aliens really exist and want to take over the earth they don’t need advanced weaponry, just make it snow in all the major cities until we surrender.

    Maybe this would be a good time for DI to revisit December/Polar. There’s enough carnage in the real world to get a few ideas going.

  5. epm, February 16, 2010:

    Snow? … Oh yeah, that thing that I saw in Canada a few years ago.
    Now, if you were talking about heat. This summer (it is summer here) is really, really hot. Not the hottest ever, but my air conditioner is on.

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