When it snows here, that is. There I was yesterday, shooting a round of friendly billiards with my conservative, not a republican, buddy, actually getting along, even when he claimed to an observer of our game and fellow lover of fine draft and grits that we get along because I am just stupid, to which I simply agreed, no arguing with a half truth among those sorts, when, as a local rustic, returning from a momentary smoke break entered the rear door to the billiard parlor, we discovered that the gods had begun dusting the environs with a powdery, delicious snow. Realizing that I had an appointment at the local Sam’s Club and knowing that the avenues and boulevards would soon be teaming with housewives, escapees from three local high schools, and Korean, Indian, and Pakistani merchants hustling to snatch up gallon upon gallons of milk and racing to corner the market in Clark Bars and M & Ms, I decided to forgo the rigors of straight pool to get a jump start on my marketing and on the imminent surge in traffic.
The thoroughfares were instantly slick, and I was not out of the parking lot more than a mile before I watched a giant SUV whizzing in a three tight circles before coming to rest firmly against a power pole. I am admittedly suspicious of Samaritans but nonetheless, pulled to a stop just beyond the crumpled vehicle, got out, trudged over to the driver’s window of the huge black Escalade and tapped gently on the window. The window lowered with what can only be considered an expensive whir and the driver, a woman I suppose in her mid-thirties, turned, held up a finger, and continued listening to her Blackberry. In the back seat, several toddlers were safely encumbered in infant seats and seat belts and all seemed much better off than I. The On Star device in the Cadillac was burbling something about Mrs. SuchandNot’s being in an accident and a clearly British voice was reciting a list of what procedures had been initiated for her benefit. I felt relieved and since mom seemed to be totally engaged with the Blackberry, I turned to get off the shoulder before I was flattened by a Bud truck. I was nearly away when the good woman clicked off her device and said, “Oh, thanks so much for stopping. The children were released from the Downtown School of Christianity and SAT Prep, and after picking them up, I was listening to Glenn Beck’s show about how reconnecting with the Founders could lift us spiritually. I was so sure that with the four-wheel -drive engaged I could not possibly lose control. But no matter, a limo has been sent. I do hope they will hurry because Sarah Palin is the guest on the O’Reilly Factor, and I do so want to hear her rationale for drilling for oil in ANWAR. You do realize that these gas prices are so ridiculous, why it takes a hundred dollars to fill this vehicle and that’s if I don’t use high-test. And at nine miles per gallon, I just so hate to fill up with gas that comes from some Muslim theocracy. But in any case, here is a five for stopping; I assure you that we are fine and the children are, too. They are watching a DVD on hedge funding and commodity trading.” I was tempted but did not take the five, figuring she would need it this summer to buy a gallon of fuel. I walked back to the old Focus marveling on how composed she was during such dire times. How we react to stressful times is a true indication of our rearing, what?
I was trying to edge onto the road when a pickup with tires as high as my waist busted on by with a blare of the horn and a spray of slush over my windshield. As the wet snow cleared from window, I did see Nuke Obama and Charlton Heston Is God bumper stickers and one nifty decal of a dear little boy urinating on a donkey. How droll we Americans are, I thought as I followed the truck to the next stop sign. Even with gentle braking, I did slide a bit as I approached the sign; the roads were slipperier by the minute. As I arrived, the pickup which looked very much like a Marine ready assault vehicle roared away from the stop in a rooster tail of snow and stone. The truck spun twice, skidded, and fishtailed for about fifty yards before going nose down into a four foot ditch. Before, I could pull off again to offer assistance, the driver had begun a steady spraying of mud and muck across much of the three lane connector road as he tried to rock his way out of the ditch. I did pull over about twenty-five yard up-road but admittedly was a bit nervous about approaching this gargantuan truck while the operator was gunning the engine and hopping back and forth between first and reverse. Finally the surging stopped, I eased my way out the door, took a couple of steps toward the ditched truck, and yelled. “You OK?” The driver bounded from the cab, hit the road, slipped, and landed, soles of his Dan Posts skyward, flat on his buttocks, John Deere Cap slightly askew. I am guessing the poor fellow was a bit embarrassed because he lept up and began yelling, “Effin gubment, fcqwacin do nothing gubment. Pay all these g-damn taxes and sonsabitches can’ even freaking salt the roads. That’s the mothereffin trouble with this county; bunch of retard democrats sitting around the county roads figurin what damned democrat-development to salt first while they let the main roads go. Shit.” With that he went to kick the step up to his cab, missed, caught his balance a bit but slid down into the ditch and wedged just under the huge, stainless exhaust pipe. Lucky he didn’t set his Wranglers on fire. “Do you want me to call a tow truck?” As he wriggled out from under the struck and managed to stand, he replied,“No, dude, I was talking to my old man when I went in the ditch; he’s coming with the Hummer to get me out. This is a bitch; I am supposed to meet my woman at the Turtle for happy hour. Now, I got to wait. I am goin’ to cell Ford and tell them how bad their damn traction is on this sucker, shit forty thousand and the bitch won’t hold the road. Proly some freaking regulation from freakin Nader keeps them from building ‘em they way they need to. But thanks, dude, dad ought to be here in a bit; he's about to get off from work at DMV.” As I walked back to my car, I did notice two stickers on the front bumper: Palin for Prez and Support Cheney’s Skeet Range.
This stuff happens all the time here; an inch of snow brings out all sorts of not so sharp republicans, causes mayhem, and throws all sorts of people together, literally. I was only a bit late to Sam’s but was able to snag the last gallon of milk, the next to last rotisserie-chicken, 4.99, and one loaf each of white and wheat bread. There were plenty of eggs, a bargain on coffee and five pound cheese, and I made it home, only two fender benders slowing down my progress. I am hunkered down now waiting for the big melt. I hope my billiard-buddy got home OK; he’s susceptible to goofiness when it snows.