Saturday, February 6, 2010


It is Waitangi Day in New Zealand. It is snowing here.

So far, there's a couple of feet accumulated in my driveway. The area where I parked my car looks like an Indian burial mound. The cat adamantly refuses to go outside, and the weather service calls for another four to eight inches. Peachy.

It's a heavy snow, the kind that sticks and buckles tree limbs, brings down power lines, and stays awhile even after the fall stops. Normally, my windy, hilly road is a haven for cross country skiers but not today. Today it is very, very white, cold, unforgiving and somewhat scary. Today I am blessed with not having small children or dogs but I do wonder, where is global warming when you need it?

My concern is a power outage. Already ten percent of the Northern Virginia population is without electricity. This happened once a decade ago and I ended up spending a memorable night at the local motel, along with several other people from the local AA club in a room that reeked of old smoke and Cheetohs. It was not fun, had none of that winter jolliness portrayed in sitcoms. We did not roast marshmallows or tell funny stories. We mostly huddled, ate cold pizza and bitched a lot. Nobody fell in love, nobody had sex. Now I am paranoid. Will warming Swedish meatballs in the microwave put the entire grid at risk? I can hear it now: Hmmmmm, ding! Pow!

Like all the other ninnies in the area, I spent the better part of yesterday stocking up on gasoline (why? My car is undriveable), kitty litter for the undriveable car, bread, sushi and oranges. The staples. I have three films from Netflix, a rack of ribs (five bucks at Safeway, a bargain!), capers and olives stuffed with something or other, a smallish wedge of Brie and a leftover slab of whole wheat sourdough bread. I have library books. My laundry is all done in case I need to evacuate the area quickly. The snowblower I inherited from a friend's father is ready to go, but will be totally ineffectual in almost three feet of white stuff. I'm not sure what to do with the cat, but he's a longhair Burmese so he should be all right. I am waiting for the apocalypse.

I wonder if someone erred seriously with the ice-cube in the toilet bowl rule. You know, "Ice cube, ice cube in the pot; gee I hope it snows a lot..." You haven't heard of this? It's very scientific, and well drawn by Richard Thompson, the creator of Cul de Sac. Anyhow, I wonder if some New Zealanders didn't get carried away and dump a whole 7/11 party bag of ice into their toilets. That would explain everything.

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