…and now, the weather. Over to you, Bob.

It is very fashionable to freak out about the weather in DC.  An inch or two of snow never fails to make the local news people completely lose their bananas, and school is often canceled the night before a prospective storm, without ever seeing so much as a flake (other than the aforementioned news people, that is).

However, it is unwise to ignore the peril that is the DC local driving in snow.  Rich lobbyists from Georgia in massive SUVs seem to think that four-wheel drive and ABS cancel out the effect of snow and ice.  Other people in more plebian vehicles drive in a manner that would be considered dangerously stupid on dry roads, rendering them criminally insane when there is ice present.

And don’t get me started on the “plowing” that is done around here.  On some roads, you will see three giant snowplows in a single-file line, the first doing some work, the other two… I don’t know what they are for.  Backup, in the event of possible gang warfare?  On other roads, the plow may trundle through, with the blade held delicately aloft – about an inch or two from the road’s surface, thus ensuring that passing traffic creates a nicely packed layer of ice all the more rapidly.  Or they may never come at all, leaving your local street a lunar landscape of icy potholes.

John and I saw all of this yesterday as we went in for a half day.  We had somewhere in the neighborhood of eight inches fall on our house (we have learned that we live in a funny pocket weather-wise: there were probably only three inches just a few miles to the southeast of us), and we decided to wait out the morning snow and see what happened rather than hurling our bodies into the scrum.  He gave me a ride to the Metro in his four-wheel-drive wagon, and what fun we had.  Who needs a gym when you can have the adrenaline rush of someone in an Infiniti sedan diving in front of you at 40 mph with a half-carlength to spare?  And why go to the ballet, when you can watch four enormous snowplows weaving complicated patterns in front of you on a local multi-lane road?

And people think that politics are our great amusement around here.


  1. The snow plows do that here, too. There must have been some mathematical modeling somewhere along the line that indicates that this pattern makes sense, but I don’t understand why it takes three trucks to plow one street. The blade an inch of the ground protects the blade -or so I’ve heard. But the whole thing sucks. Snow should fall on yards and gently onto trees, where it’s pretty. It shouldn’t fall on cars, driveways, or streets. That’s how I would do things if I were queen ;)

  2. It never snows here, but people drive like colossal idiots when it rains. They seem to forget that wet roads are not the same as dry roads.

  3. I hear you! I lived in D.C. during my college days and the Giant would be cleared of all bread and milk if the word snow even appeared in the forecast. So funny, considering we don’t even freak unless there are 5 or more inches in Chicago!

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