2011-01-05 / Family

Snow patrol

The Pleasure of Life
Chuck Hansen

The experts have struck again! First it was the catastrophic economic collapse of 2008, which was foreseen by precious few of the experts. Amazingly, the economic experts who missed the greatest crisis since the Great Depression did not lose their jobs, and actually are still out there giving us economic advice. This is like the Titanic’s iceberg lookout guy trying to tell everyone in the lifeboat which way to row.

Then there was the Eva Longoria-Tony Parker break-up. Not one celebrity watcher predicted that a Hollywood starlet and an NBA superstar wouldn’t go the distance.

Now, as I look out the window, it’s snowing.

Throughout the autumn and as recently as this morning (seriously, I just looked it up), we had been assured by various weather experts that Virginia will experience a warm, dry early winter. They cited the fact that La Niña is floating around somewhere in the tropical Pacific (with the Pinta and Santa Maria, I guess), which would result in a more northerly jet stream and a non-snowy December.

Well, guys, if this weather gig doesn’t work out, there’s always economics.

It’s OK with me though – I like snow.

I even like driving in it. Of course, Richmonders have a reputation of not handling snow driving very well. In answer to this, I quote Thomas Jefferson: “Well, duh.” It seems logical that the less snow a town gets, the less skilled the drivers will be in the snow.

As a side note: The ownership of a four-wheel-drive vehicle does not equip the owner with the combined skills of Jean Claude Killy and Richard Petty, any more than owning a certain type of tennis shoes can make you run faster and jump higher.

Speaking of driving in the snow, it’s always a dilemma whether to attempt to drive to work when it snows. On one hand, you want to think you are indispensible, and that if you do not show up, the company might just collapse. On the other hand…SNOW DAY. Over the years, however, I have determined a good rule of thumb to help make this decision, and during our recent snow I tweeted the rule out to my followers (you can follow me, too: @ FunnyChuck): The more money someone makes, the less critical it is that he or she go in to work when it’s snowing.

Typically, while the executive or executive-wannabe is debating whether to go in or stay at home and play with the kids, the Food Lion cashier or Uppy’s gas station attendant has already arranged for a neighbor to watch her kid, climbed into her 15-year-old Cavalier with two-wheel drive, and made her way to work, and thank goodness for her. We can all survive a day without executive decisionmaking (in fact, I’d be interested in seeing a chart correlating stock performance with snow days), but by God someone needs to be there when we need milk, bread or gas. Or beer.

Return to top