Saturday, December 05, 2009

Snow Day

“Pandilarium”. That’s the word that Jeff Foxworthy made up as a redneck describing a weather-related incident. He was speaking specifically of a tornado. What we experienced yesterday was a Snow Day. Not as devastating, but almost as disruptive.

The previous record for the earliest snowfall was that of December 10, I am too lazy to find out what year. Suffice to say, we don’t get much snow around here on the Texas Gulf Coast anyhow, so any time it does, it sets SOME sort of record. I remember that day (not the year, they all blend in together), since I was working in an office. The extent of the revelry was limited to adults shivering under the entrance awning , staring stupidly at the sky, grinning. When the low temperature got to be unbearable, after about 7 or 8 minutes, all of the aforementioned adults filed like cattle back to their pens. Yesterday I found that this low-key reaction is NOT universal by any stretch of the imagination.

As you may or may not know (or care), I have been substitute teachering until which time I can secure a full-time position that does not involve riding on the back of a garbage truck. It was in the venue of a local high school that the snow day came and blessed us with the blanket of beautiful white silence.

Well, it was silent and beautiful until the hordes of squealing teenagers bolted out of their classes and into the grass at the front of the school. One science teacher just down the cell block, er, HALL from me, ill-advisedly took her class out to “observe” the snowfall. As her excited students shoved their way to the stairs, I heard one kid say, “We’re going out to study the Global Warming!” Hilarious.

The actual snowing of the big, fluffy but wet snowflakes the size of a silver dollar only lasted about an hour and a half, but resulted in almost 2 inches on cars in the parking lot. But the off-the-reservation-AWOL shrieking and freaking out lasted until the riot police were called in. When the principal finally gained the upper hand, the halls were teeming with wet, panting, beaming teenagers not wanting to lose the magic of the moment.

There was a final negotiation over the school’s PA system that stated if everyone would stay in class the rest of the day and not run outside like a bunch of mental patients, the five days prior to the Christmas Break would be designated “jean days”.

I guess it worked, because by the end of the day, he came on the PA again to award the coveted semi-break from the dress code that nobody adheres to.

The rest of the area experienced similar disruptions to the point that snow and ice dominated the news for the last 36 hours.

I’ll bet you guys in the parts of the country that experience snow regularly are shaking your heads in wonder at us bumpkins down here in the semi-tropics. Just remember this when we scoff at your “95° heat waves” next summer. Till then, we’ll smile at nature’s cool, beautiful, albeit brief dusting of beauty.

Heck, it was just LAST YEAR when it snowed December 10 here! THIS IS HISTORIC! Two years in a row has never happened here, at least since the waning years of the Ice Age, which no doubt the dinosaurs caused with their chain saws and weed eaters.


innominatus said...

Fun. That sounds a lot like the snow we get here. Snow is infrequent but what we get is wet. Then when it is driven on, it gets compacted into a layer of ice that lasts well after the uncompacted snow has melted.

Living in a college town with a lot of international students has some advantages: seeing rich Saudi kids put their BMWs into sign poles when it is icy is a popular pastime.

aA said...

Gosh, I wish I could see that spectacular result! We had a few fender benders, but it was gone by noon in all but the coldest spots...

Stepsistah said... didn't tell innomiatus about the guy that fell, jumped or was pushed off the top of the frozen overpass this morning and got kilt when he was in an ice/slide wreck.

I remember back in the day when my Momma sent my stepDad (who hailed from Pennsylvania) to pick me up from jr. high because it had snowed and she was worried about me walking home. He came, I sent him back, he called my Momma and told her I was crazy 'cause I WANTED to walk home in the stuff. He was still shaking his head when I walked in about an hour later.