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Old Man Winter’s Guide to Beating the Snowpocalypse Blues

March 2, 2010
OLD MAN WINTER’S GUIDE TO BEATING THE SNOWPOCALYPSE BLUES
In the wake of the current record-breaking winter weather in the Washington, DC, area, I decided to explore my neighborhood and assess the damages that this record-breaking snowfall has caused.  Boy was I surprised when I came across Old Man Winter! This little guy hasn’t been sighted in over 110 years, since the “Snowmageddon of 1899” so it caught me by surprise when I saw him just chilling by the side of the road a few days ago.  After much coaxing (he’s camera shy), my friend and I were able to convince him to pose for some photographs as well as give us some Do’s and Don’ts for surviving the Snowpocalypse.  It’s a pretty good guide, especially for those that aren’t used to so much snow.
1. DO go grocery shopping before the snowfall gets too heavy.  If you don’t, you might find that when you get hungry and realize that there’s nothing in the fridge, the grocery store will be closed.
2. DO take caution when “ice-walking” more than two miles under white-out conditions to your favorite Chinese food carryout because the grocery store is closed and the carryout is the only place crazy enough to stay open.  Remember that, since the sidewalks will become mountains of snow, you will have to walk on the road, make sure you’re walking in the opposite direction of traffic.  This way, you’ll know when to jump when a car is sliding towards you.
3. DO buy thick gloves and a ski mask (or thick scarf) in order to prevent your hands and face from freezing and falling off while walking in hurricane-like winter conditions.
4. DO make sure you have at least two back-up means of transportation.  You might wake up and find (or not find) your car in this type of situation.  Not good. You might also find that the Metro buses are either out of service or are only running on “special routes,” or that only underground train stations are open and even those stations have special delays. In short, be ready to walk.
6. DO be patient with the public transit employees. Remember that even though you don’t have to work and you’re only on your way to a snowball fight, they have to work. Plus, there’s nothing like the comfort of feeling like you’re in a meatpacking factory.
7. DO try to make it into work at least one day during the Snowpocalypse.  Although you might be annoyed to discover how many people are actually going to come into your office with complaints, do try to smile as much as possible.
8. DO NOT WEAR HEELS!!! You WILL fall! Safety before vanity.  If you must wear heels or open shoes, put them in a bag and change into them when you arrive safely at your destination.  It’s also sad that I have to say this but I just saw someone wearing a pair, so…
9. DO NOT WEAR FLIP FLOPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
10. DO invest in snow boots or shoes with good traction.  There’s nothing funnier than seeing someone fall face-first in 50-something inches of snow…unless the person falling is you.  Although the snow might cushion your fall, it’s still better to have not fallen at all.
11. DO attend mass snowball fights—they’re a great way to get your daily exercise; practice your war-game skills; have fun in the snow; and they also help to prevent the dreaded cabin fever.
12. DO go to the movies…FOR FREE!!! There are many websites out there that allow people to attend movie premieres free (i.e. www.eventful.com). This way, you can get a first-hand look at new movies even before they start playing in theaters. You might have to trek though the snow to get there but if the movie is good enough (and hopefully it will be good), it’ll be worth the trek.
13. DO pay homage to your fallen comrades. Here’s to the trees and umbrellas and power lines and even cars that did not survive the hurricane-like winds and heavy snow.
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