Friday, March 08, 2013

...But Nobody Does Anything About It

"Everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it". Twain? I forget but it's one of quotes I think about when weather hysteria starts. People do something about it; they lose their freakin minds!! In this super-sized media age we live in bad weather is big business. Local TV scores  major ratings boosts and social media just plain blows up! My question is what's the fascination? We're Americans and we've been dealing with this stuff for hundreds of years. Why in this day and age of back-up generators, SUVs, work crews on issues in minutes and space age, "green" ice and snow melting agents are we so worked into a tizzy about bad weather??

Lets just talk snow shall we. Admittedly we had an assload of snow this winter so it's a perfect place to start. Keep in mind I'm looking at this from a regional aspect as a lifelong resident of New England living in a city with a dense population. I can't speak for the Midwest but somehow I cant see them panicking over snowfall like we do. . OK, so the Doppler shows on Tuesday  we may get snow Friday so Harvey Wankum Tweets this and posts it to his stations Facebook page and gets the ball rolling. Next its on every local channel and ripping through social media like a ho knife through butter. Now we're worked up to a lather. Cancel school! Cancel plans! Get to the grocery store for God's sake!!! And why? Because we're obsessed with doomsday scenarios. We may lose power. We may lose heat. We may lose water. We may but we usually don't At 46 years of age I can't remember a weather scenario where I lost running water. I just can't. I've lost power many times but thankfully for never more then a day. Generally speaking life goes on with some inconvenience.  I say this as a completely true statement that in 24 years at the same job I've only not had to report for work  2 times because of weather.

What I am most befuddled by is the way in which we panic and the purchases we make. Shovels, flashlights, batteries, gas for the car or snow blower all make perfect sense. But what's with the bread and milk? Are you going to be snowed in for a week? And, in the most likely scenario, if you lose power what happens to that milk? Water would be far more important to have and going back to my earlier point the odds (where I and most of you reading this live) of losing clean, running water is slim based on 46 years of experience. Toilet paper? OK, so lets go doomsday and you lose running water, what good is tp? Or whats the worst case scenario? A house with 8 people with chronic diarrhea snowed in for a day who mysteriously had only 1 roll of toilet paper to start the week? Trust me,by hook or by crook your backside will survive this

Now, I've been accused of being laissez faire about inclement weather and not taking it seriously. This may be true but I look at it only from my scenario. I'm single, no kids, live in a densely populated city with access to public transportation, I can walk to a dozen stores in less then a mile, I own a car, I live on the second floor of a brick building and have snow removal service, my mom is well attended by my sisters (and they by her). If I lost power or water or heat I would head to my moms, or my sisters, or a hotel. These are facts. When the snow starts flying and I've done all I can do (which is very little) its just a matter of crossing my fingers and waiting it out

I lived through the Blizzard Of 78' and I lived through Nemo and I can say Nemo, you're no Blizzard Of 78'. We never saw 78' coming and we were crippled by it. But radars were different, our cars were different, we were not as uptight then. But we survived and as an 11 year old kid it was one of the best weeks of my life. For all the build up to Nemo we got off pretty easy and for most of us the second worst storm we lived through ended up as more an inconvenience then devastation. I applaud the Governor of the stae and the mayors of the major cities for how they handled the storm. This is the world we live in now and the reason I find the panic so weird

In closing I will do something I don't normally do, give a caveat.  As always these are a (hopefully) humorous exaggeration o my real thoughts but I'd be remiss in being insensitive to anyone who has lost loved ones or property due to weather.

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