Biff Sock Pow

Finding the humor in everyday life.

Archive for the tag “Cold Weather”

Dallas Weather Conspiracy Revealed

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It is another frigid, freezing day here in Dallas.  It is a mere 15.9 degrees (-8.94 C), though the weather site says it feels like 16.0 degrees (-8.89 C).  I guess it is the heat index that makes it feel so much more warm and balmy.  But as we all know, it isn’t so much the heat that gets you; it’s the humidity.

I’m joking of course.  Cold is cold.  And I know Dallasites have a reputation around the world for being weenies when it comes to cold weather, and particularly when it snows.  (See my earlier post on this subject here.)

But I’ll let you in on a little secret.

Dallasites, as a rule, are pretty hardy folk.  After all, we deal with summers here that last 6 months long and which routinely inflict temperatures on us of 105 degrees (40.6 C) or more.  Such a thing is not for the faint of heart.  And though the rest of the world doesn’t think we do, we actually look forward to winter.  In winter, Dallas, for a few short months, becomes like “normal” parts of the world.   The average temperature falls down into a range where people can go outside and engage in normal activities without the fear of dying from heat stroke or dehydration.  In winter, there is an upsurge in the number of people one sees bicycling, jogging, walking dogs, picnicking, hot air ballooning, or just being outside and smiling.  We even look forward to the occasional snow day.  We love waking up and seeing everything blanketed in the white stuff.  Every snow day feels like a holiday here and it fills people with elation and joie de vivre.

Unfortunately, Dallasites do not know how to drive in ice or snow.  That isn’t because we are worse drivers than are found elsewhere.  It’s just a lack of practice on our part, as well as not really having the proper equipment.  We don’t have snow plows to clear the streets.  We don’t have special snow tires, or snow chains.  Hell, we barely keep ice scrapers in our vehicles!   There just isn’t that big of a need for them.

But here is the secret I promised you.  People in Dallas drive poorly in the snow and ice on purpose.  I mean, if we suddenly became very proficient at driving in the snow … if a day of snow was no more debilitating than a day of light rain or sunshine … then the city would go on as normal on those rare days when we get an inch or two of snow.  And that means we would not get to enjoy those rare days of snowfall we get but once or twice a year, because we would have to go to work or school just like we would on a “normal” day.  And, after enduring 6 or more months of 100+ degree temperatures, we feel like we deserve a snow day once in awhile.

Everyone is in on the scam.  Even the city governments and businesses.  Even the TV meteorologists beg everyone to just stay home when it snows.  That is why no one here invests in snow equipment.  Cities don’t buy snow plows.  We buy just enough salt and sand to keep the bridges from being death traps, but otherwise we just sort of throw up our hands, and like the bad actress who only got the role because she sleeps with the director, we say in our best tragic voice, “Oh dear!  However will I get to work today?  I’d better stay home in my pajamas and drink hot cocoa today.”  [Stage direction:  Place back of hand against forehead for dramatic effect.  Collapse on fainting couch dramatically.  Await smelling salts.]

So, please, feel free to ridicule us all you like about how a light dusting of snow shuts down the entire city.  Hell, we even make fun of ourselves for that!  We laugh at how incompetent we are at driving in snow.  But just please don’t rat us out.  I beg you, let us have this!

It’s all we’ve got.

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How to Break Dallas

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Some of you might have heard on the news that we here in Dallas had a major weather event today.  It was horrible!  Roads were closed.  Cars piled up on the side of the road.  Businesses closed.  All of the weather people and news anchors took to the air to wring their hands, pull out tufts of hair, and rend their clothing.  Roving reporters were dispatched to every corner of the Dallas / Fort Worth metroplex to cover this weather disaster.  They stood on bridges overlooking roadways that were littered with the broken remains of semi trucks and cars.  You could practically feel the reporters wanting to cry out in despair, “Oh!  The humanity!”   And as I watched them standing on those bridges, I kept thinking to myself, “Please don’t jump, Mr. Distraught News Reporter Person!”

What was this weather event that caused so much chaos in one of the largest, most educated, most technologically advanced cities in the Western Hemisphere?  Was it a massive tornado?  Was it a fracking-induced earthquake?  Was it torrential rains?

Why, it was no less than a trace of snow!  It flurried big snowflakes for maybe an hour.  The temperature was so cold that the snow was dry and powdery when it hit the ground and so it mostly blew away and accumulated in grassy areas.  The roadways remained mostly dry.  It piled up on car windshields, but blew away like powdered sugar at the slightest breeze.

It took me twice as long to get home from work as it usually does because a major bridge I have to cross had been constricted from 3 lanes down to 1.  When it was finally my turn to cross it, the bridge was almost completely dry.  Two cars sat on the bridge in the closed-off lanes about 30 yards apart with no apparent damage to either vehicle.  Perhaps they just panicked and parked there.  In fact, every accident I passed looked to be a case of a driver seeing a snowflake hit their windshield, them screaming in terror, and then driving off the road, up on the curb and into an embankment, bridge abutment, or median.

I love Dallas.  There is a lot to be proud of here.  It is a very dynamic, cosmopolitan, can-do kind of city.

But we lose our collective minds when a single snowflake hits the ground.

Stay strong, Dallas!  You’ll get through this tragedy!

 

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