February 5, 2009

Dear Blokes: That's Snow Way to React

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“ENGLAND WAKES UP TO SNOW CHAOS,” stated the Guardian. The Associated Press added: “London Crawling.” Hah! A little AP humor soothes the soul. Anyway, there was some sort of massive snow explosion outside, whilst I, under the covers in Merry Old England, was suffering from sympathetic tooth pain/Vicodin craving (known as TPVC, look it up*), and missing my friend who was somewhere suffering from real pain/Vicodin craving on account of the evil dentist Dr. Wonko.**
From the desperate cries for help that made it through my window, I naturally assumed that the mothership that brought the English people to Planet Earth in 500 BC or so had finally returned and the populace was not all that pleased to go. On planet Brittania-85u902349320 they don’t have flour or animals and thus cannot make their Earth-specialty pies, and are understandably very depressed all the time. I’m just relating what I’ve heard. Jeff, my informant and the hobo down the street, has a Ph.D. in British history and used to sell his pioneering books arguing against all this gobbledygook about Caesar and Hadrian’s Wall on the interweb. I guess the truth just doesn’t pay in these recessionary times. Definitely pick up a copy of Jeff’s magnus opus, They Came From the Sky with Their Minced Meat Pie. It’s a pretty good read.
After suiting up in the sequin Bowie space suit I keep around for these sorts of events, I ran outside to witness the UK phone-home operation, except all I saw was a whole bunch of people falling over in a couple inches of snow. To be fair, it started to come down pretty hard and visibility was certainly diminished. I could only see as far as three pubs down instead of the usual twelve. It was hair-raising.
The city was quiet except for all the screaming. At first, there was terror. The tube didn’t run. The buses didn’t run. Even Jeff didn’t know what to do with himself because his Scientology center was closed down, too. Poor bloke.
Then, crazed fear gave way to awe. Mothers realized that if they gave their children an extra “jumper” and gloves everything was going to be fine.
The whole city basically took a snow day and had a snow party. This had a variety of repercussions, both good and bad.
Let’s start with the bad. Having little experience with snow, the Britons were unfamiliar with snow etiquette, or as I like to call it: “snowtocol.” They didn’t realize that just because it’s snowing doesn’t mean you can start yelling constantly to the sky about the super awesome snow when bitches be tryin’ to sleep. It also doesn’t mean its just dandy for you to build a snowman in the middle of the sidewalk. You know I can’t just break those guys down! He probably has a family.
Most dreadful, however, were the snowballs. Snowballs were being hurled from everywhere and I mean over hill, over briar. They wandered EVERYWHERE. After all, it’s a snow day, right? We can hurl snowballs at anyone we want, even strangers on the street who are on their way to dinner and just blow-dried their hair, right?
My friends K and A were walking down the street to just such a dinner after having blow-dried just so. Suddenly, a pack of ten boys runs out at them shouting and throwing snowballs. I imagine they thought this was all good fun. But let’s be real for a second: a pack of boys running and throwing things at two girls in a darkened London alleyway is just never OK, even in the super fun party snow. K and A were not amused.
Onto the good!
Granted, things are a bit far apart here. I can’t just hop into Lil’ Sasha (my Subaru) and illegally park him in a loading zone or take a TCAT that runs even if there’s a dangerously real blizzard. Not having class, as you can imagine, was pretty sweet. Even better, the tubes were back on in time for the bars, so all roads led to the super-fun times that day.
Second, I got to gloat to Brits about how super tough we are! Hah! In Ithaca this is like a cool spring rain. We go out in mini dresses in WAY worse weather, without tights! Shove that in your pie and eat it, ye former imperialists of the galaxy!
Third and most important, it was wonderful to rediscover the joy of snow with all the British folks. Businessmen were rolling up snowmen. Members of Parliament were actually outside skipping and frolicking! OK, maybe I hallucinated that one. Hallucinations are a side effect of TPVC as well as of the alien fruit Jeff gave me yesterday to increase my brain capacity. I think its working like gangbusters. Overall, it was nice to see people appreciating the weather for being so cool. I mean it’s ice that literally falls out of the sky! You can sled down it or pour sugar syrup on the ground and eat it!
I have always been a big snow fan (less of a swim fan). In fact, I went to Cornell because it was icy and freezing. I know! But, day after day of blizzarding just wears out your love of snow. It’s been hard to keep it going. But, one day with a city of regressing professionals reminded me of the power of snow. I’ll be the first one on the Slope after that first snow next fall. In case you want to join us for R and R’s back-to-snow sledding party (date TBD), the “snowtocol” seminar is mandatory prior.
Cheers and enjoy the white flakes of heaven!

*This may be the first documented case, although I believe I heard about one in Brussels.
** Doctor Wonko is a pseudonym used for R’s dentist who declined to comment on this article or his violent ways.