We're in the midst of a snowstorm of sorts here in the Ohio Valley, although from what I've heard, nowhere near the impending blizzard that's hurtling for places along the northern East Coast, including New York City where the new mayor used his first day in office to shut the joint down.
What an adrenaline rush that must be. "Look, Ma! I speak. It closes!"
Although if I were him, I'd be furtively wondering if Michael Bloomberg wasn't trying to sabotage my first day...
The Ohio Valley is an interesting place to live when it comes to weather. I've heard longtime natives describe the recurring meteorological cycles as "heat in the morning, AC in the afternoon," or something to that effect. One can never be sure which front we'll find ourselves under, over, or behind.
Right now, it's snow and bone-chilling temperatures. By Sunday, it's rain and above-freezing temps. By Tuesday, we'll be in the midst of a second Ice Age as the nighttime highs drop below 0 and the daytime highs fight to get above zero.
Unfortunately, the highs that would really send you soaring are still illegal in these parts.
Even though this is 2013 and snowstorms still happen, I'm often struck by the emotional reaction people have to these kinds of weather events. You would think at this point in humankind's development, we would have mastered, if not the weather, then at least our reaction to the weather.
But with the kind of redundancy that would bore an obsessive compulsive, people respond to such expected weather events as snowstorms by snapping up all of the bread and milk at local stores as soon as rumors of flakes waft across the airwaves and trigger Old Man Cyrus' trick knee.
Invariably, those are the two items that disappear before all else. And like the prototype drones they are, the media report the disappearance of Bread and Milk with an urgency that would make one believe there's no way Bread and Milk will be returnin' to these parts before mid-July or the Second Coming, whichever comes first.
(To be fair, local newscasts can make a sunny day sound like a radiation anomaly.)
Leading me to wonder: if snowed in for more than 24 hours, presumably with your electricity intact, how much of that bread and milk are you really going to consume, especially if your cupboards are filled with delicacies that present gourmet options beside toast and cereal?
And if your electricity goes out for more than 24 hours and you're snowed in, won't you need something beyond bread and milk to sustain you? After all, the milk will go bad and the bread will mold eventually, especially if you stockpiled 5,000 loaves and 200 gallons. Why place all of your hopes for survival on those two foodstuffs? Why not stock up on canned foods, bottled water, dry goods, etc.? Why not purchase a sled and sled-dogs so you can mush your way to McDonald's?
It doesn't make sense, but hey, since when has the human race acted logically?
Which is why, today, right before our relatively benign snowstorm intensified, my wife and I felt compelled to make a mad dash to Walmart. Well, I was working. My wife did the mad dashing.
We dashed even though we had plenty of food in our cupboard. Even though we had bread in our box. Even though the snow would only keep us indoors for this evening. Even though there's a grocery store at the bottom of our hill and another one a few blocks over that we could have easily walked to should our craving for bread and milk have gotten the better of us and our very survival was dependent on consuming those two items before we consumed each other.
As a wise man once said, "Man shall not live by bread and milk alone, but if a snowstorm is a-comin', you best be hurryin' out and gettin' yourself some."
So, if you're in the path of this storm, I hope you have all of the pasteurized and processed basics needed for your short-term, if not your long-term survival...