Thursday, February 11, 2010
Snowin' Down South
I have lived in the South off and on for the better part of thirty-some odd years. Certainly long enough to appreciate a well-formed, colorful metaphor -- such as "slap-yo'-mama good". This phrase is usually applied to food and means that something is so tasty you will go home and "slap-yo'-mama" for not being able to cook this well. I also know that if a Southern someone accuses someone else of being "very Northern" it is NOT a complement. It means that person has been pushy-rude and there ain't nothin' worse than being pushy-rude in the South. Surely, you could not be one of them, a Southerner, 'cause your mama would have raised you better. If you are ever called "very Northern" in the South, consider yourself bitch-slapped back to the Mason-Dixon line. However, I have never quite gotten used to the Southern response to snow.
Now, you may be saying to yourself: They don't get a lot of snow in the South, do they? No --but when the weatherman announces snow is on the way, you would think that aliens were about to descend from the sky. You see Southerners view snow as much like Sherman -- a wholly Yankee phenomena that just doesn't belong here. There are three phases of snow in the South: 1. The weatherman looks calm, still has his jacket on, but has suspiciously donned a woolly sweater vest. This means: Snow just might be on its way. 2. The weatherman has removed his jacket, is wearing a long sleeved shirt, tie and a woolly sweater vest. This means: Yes'sir-ee-bob and boy-howdy snow is on the way. Time to drive to the store for milk and bread. 3. The weatherman has rolled-his sleeves, is still wearing his woolly sweater vest, but has loosened his tie and unbuttoned the top button of his shirt. This means: Blizzard conditions are in effect. There is at least a quarter inch of snow expected.
Driving through Peachtree City a good three to four days after the first scant snowfall of the year, I spotted a police car, hazard lights blinking, and some sort of utility truck in front of it. Upon closer inspection, I noticed the utility truck was in fact a salt truck salting a spot of road that had a patch of ice on it that was maybe the length and width of my automobile. I could have salted the entire patch by chucking a handful of rock salt out my window in passing. The amount of manpower involved in salting this puny patch of ice, not to mention diverting and closing a lane of traffic, struck me as being a bit of overkill, especially since it was sunny and fifty degrees outside. However, I kept this thought to myself 'cause my mama raised me right.