I’ve mentioned in previous posts the phenomenon of snow storms since I moved from the Northeast of the U.S. to the Southeast. The whole personalities of New York and North Carolina are very different and never is it more apparent than during inclement weather.
North Carolinians see a storm brewing in Wisconsin on the weather report and say: “Please please don’t let it come here.” New Yorkers say: “Come to the Big Apple motherfker. Let’s see what ya got.”
Memories are different in the Southeast too. Here they ruminate over the fear they had 6 years ago: “I remember last time cars were all sliding into each other. My neighbor was stuck on the beltline for 5 hours. It was a nightmare.” New Yorkers brag about it to each other: “Remember last year when we were walking to the Walgreen’s on 34th Street and the snow was up to our necks? That was exercise. I was sweating like crazy. It took me 45 minutes to go 3 blocks”
Snow is a huge deal down here. If there’s even a rumor of snow, not only will they talk about it at the beginning of the local evening news and at the end of the local news, they’ll then interrupt the start of Jeopardy! to give you a special report about it. This report serves the purpose of freaking everyone out with non-information like: “If the cloud formation makes a left turn it could be nothing, but if it makes a right turn it will be “the worst storm in history”. Then they make a feeble attempt to bolster our confidence by showing us how the area is getting prepared. They cut to a shot of the snow emergency fleet: Six garbage trucks with huge shovels jammed into their fronts and three guys with lawn mowers with smaller shovels jammed into the front.
Things close here due to panic & an extreme version of the “better safe than sorry” rule. I ponder the ramifications of those closings. We stay glued to our TV watching the updates go across our screen. Churches are always the first to bail. It may be Tuesday and the snow, if it ever happens at all, may possibly, perhaps, by chance start falling on Friday. No matter. That’s all the churches have to hear. They start sending out the message two days early: “Gd is everywhere, so stay home and talk to him at your house because ours is closed.” “All roads lead to Gd, so if ours have snow on them, take a detour somewhere else.”
Some of the other announcements that really don’t affect me at all still really make me nervous. “Dialysis Center closed”. Okay, that sounds kind of important. How about “Meals for the Homebound”? I mean they can’t come out to get food. You know that. It’s in the name of your organization.
North Carolina meteorologists, in my opinion, fuel the frenzy. They throw around the word “treacherous” every five seconds. “The morning commute could be treacherous. The main roads could be treacherous. But the secondary, tertiary, and quaternary streets will definitely be treacherous. And don’t even think about driving on the quinary, senary or septenary streets. The only word I can use to describe them would be: ‘Treacherous’.”
Then they cut to a scene on the off-ramp of the interstate where a guy veered off the road into a ditch 3 minutes after the first snowflakes started falling and mention as an aside that, true, his blood alcohol level was 5.
My husband brought to my attention at this last go-round that there’s one reporter who never gets out of her car in bad weather. Don’t reporters usually demonstrate how bad the weather is by standing in the middle of it freezing, blowing all over the highway? You can barely see them because the snow and ice keep smashing against the camera lens. But not this woman. There she is, doing the story from the comfort of her passenger seat with the window rolled up and her seat belt on. You can practically feel the heat on her legs. I’m thinking here’s one newsperson who probably won’t be signing up to be a foreign correspondent any time soon. I know nothing about news reporters but I imagine those who won’t put on mittens in North Carolina wouldn’t be interested in driving over mines anywhere else.