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Notes on the Incoming Storm: Version 3.0

February 9, 2010 Leave a comment

Photo by Dallas Kilponen

There are days like this when the line between the paranoid and the well-prepared gets very, very blurry. Some observations after a winter that includes three blizzards. 

People who rush to stores to buy out toilet paper, milk, water and bread:

– When there’s four inches of snow coming- Silly & paranoid.
– When there’s five feet of snow coming and it’s the end of the world as we know it- Brilliant people with great foresight.

Neighbors who bought snow blowers last December:

– When there’s four inches of snow coming- Desperate and sad.
– When there’s five feet of snow coming and it’s the end of the world as we know it- Your Bestest Friend Ever.

People who regularly stock up on batteries, transistor radios, candles, and blankets:

– When there’s four inches of snow coming- Scary survivalists.
– When there’s five feet of snow coming and it’s the end of the world as we know it and the power’s out for a week:  The only warm, well-informed people in the neighborhood.

People who bought their own snow plow and park it in the garage as the second car:

– When there’s four inches of snow coming- Certifiably insane.
– When there’s five feet of snow coming and it’s the end of the world as we know it and no one’s cleared the street for five days: Neighbor of the Year.

People who live in rental apartments:

– When there’s four inches of snow coming- Lowlifes
– When there’s five feet of snow coming and it’s the end of the world as we know it and there’s six tons of snow on your driveway: Humble, smart minimalists who don’t have to shovel.

People who buy their own electrical generator:

– When there’s four inches of snow coming- Weirdos
– When there’s five feet of snow coming and it’s the end of the world as we know it and PEPCO is nowhere to be found: The only folks in the neighborhood with the lights on.

People who don’t drive or own cars:

– When there’s four inches of snow coming- Suspicious, quirky, non-conformists.
– When there’s five feet of snow coming and it’s the end of the world as we know it, your car is buried in a snow drift and even if it was cleared you can’t leave the block to hit a main road: Sages ahead of their time.

People who stay indoors all the time and never see the light of day:

– When there’s four inches of snow coming- Psychotic loners.
– When there’s five feet of snow coming and it’s the end of the world as we know it- The residents of Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia.

Here Comes the Storm!

February 5, 2010 1 comment


I was scheduled to head back up to New York for the weekend anyway and, if all works out, the 11am Acela should be going approximately 100 mph faster than the snow storm of the century. I think I’ll see some of it in Gotham on Saturday, but only three inches or so according to the Weather Channel.

But good luck to everybody in the nation’s capital! It’s going to be a truly historic storm by any standard. You’ll get your five inches by the end of the afternoon and than another 10-15 overnight through all of Saturday. If DC gets 20 inches it will be only the third time ever. Counting Philadelphia and Baltimore and 10 million people are going to get clobbered by this thing.

I got in a fairly long line at the Chinatown CVS store last night to buy some computer paper and some picture hangars and saw one guy with 10 rolls of toilet paper. The bread was almost out. A nice delivery guy from Safeway dropped off my groceries Wednesday and told me one lady had ordered a dozen cases of bottled water ahead of the storm. What is it about scary snow storms that cause people to buy so much toilet paper, bread and water anyway? I know the plows don’t hit all the streets but surely by Monday, rescue teams will probably be getting to you, don’t you think?

Of course this storm is a little different because it comes over the two days leading up to the Super Bowl. I think, therefore, that it would make a lot more sense to be stocking up on nachos, Buffalo wings and beer.

And here’s a drinking game you can play. Tune into your local TV news and take a shot or a swig every time you see a reporter doing a stand-up in front of a salt pile. If you use the remote fast enough around 6pm tonight you may end up doing 5 or 6 shots within about three minutes. You can repeat this exercise again at 11pm.

If any of my DC buds need any supplies Monday, give me a call over the weekend, and we’ll get ‘em to you by mid-afternoon or so. Good luck, people.