PermaLink Toilet-paper omelettes02/10/2006 03:03 PM

This year, it's taken till halfway through February for the weather to really seem wintry.  With the six inches of snow coming tomorrow also comes a ritualistic trek to the store.  Not for me, of course...
I've lived most of my life in the North.  New York, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania.  Honestly, where I live has more to do with the North than the South... western Maryland, like West Virginia, is much more like western Pennsylvania than, say, Virginia, even though Virginia is about 1000 yards from my house.

However, most people in the DC area are from somewhere else, and as part of their move here, they seem to lose their damn minds when it snows.  Even an inch.

Where I was originally from, we slowed down from 65 to 60 when there was snow on the ground.  I could, and still can, drive full speed and in full control on six inches of snow.  My school district was always the last to close, and in fact, so slow about closing that I was stuck overnight at my high school in the Blizzard of 1977.  We just didn't think anything of snow.  Down here, it's a completely different story, and with it comes this weird ritual that people seem to have.  When snow is forecast, they all go to the stores and buy up all the milk, bread, eggs and toilet paper they can find.  They act like they're going to be snowed in and cut off from all humanity for weeks, even though time and again, the roads get plowed out within a day, the lights stay on, and the worst that might happen is that the picture on your DirecTV might be screwed up until the snow melts off.

I've seen this happen now for almost fifteen years, and I still don't understand it.  Why those particular four items?  Toilet paper, OK, but do you defecate more when it snows?  Why?  Do you get diahrrea in hailstorms?  What is the deal here?  As far as the milk, bread and eggs, all I can figure is that they make a lot of French toast and it gives them the runs or something.  Either that, or they're making toilet-paper omelettes on toast and need to wash it down with milk.

One time, 1996, I think, when a serious storm was forecast, I happened to need bread.  I went to the store, and there wasn't a damn loaf of normal bread anywhere to be found.  I ended up getting raisin bread (do you know how awful a ham-on-raisin-bread is?  don't try it) as well as some frozen bake-it-yourself bread dough, and went up to the checkout.  In front of me was a large woman who cart contained not one, not two, but seven loaves of white bread.  I couldn't resist, I had to ask her:  "do you really need all that or could you have left some for others."  She had the look of a looter in her eyes, and she started shaking, juking, saying, "oh, no, I've got teenagers!"

I don't remember eating many toilet-paper omelettes when I was in high school.  Maybe things have changed, I don't know.

I just thought it was interesting that this woman felt justified in grabbing all the bread and fuck-everyone-else.

The roads were plowed out in a day or two, the stores got restocked, and I will bet money that half of her bread went stale.  I will also bet that that same woman, even though her teenagers by now should be out of the house and productive in society, is at the Safeway in Mt. Airy, grabbing every damn loaf of bread within reach.
This page has been accessed 40 times. .
Blabber :v

1. chuck dean02/14/2006 10:14:42 PM

We get the same situation here with hurricanes. If a hurricane gets into the Gulf and has the slightest chance of hitting our area the panic buying starts. People hit the grocery store and empty the shelves of bread, milk and batteries.

We only get snow about twice a decade and then it rarely measures more than a half inch. When it hits it closes schools and stops most people from showing up to work but doesn't cause a run at the stores because it's never enough to last on the ground more than a day or two.

My only real experience driving on snow has come from a couple of late fall trips to Colorado for disaster recovery tests.

2. Christopher Byrne02/14/2006 01:25:04 PM


Reminds me of my days living in the DC Area. Now that I am in the South, my favorite memory is when they closed the University of Georgia before a flake had even fallen in the .5 to 1 inch forecast. Needless to say, it did not snow at all and the University officials had the egg on their faces!

3. Dragon Cotterill02/14/2006 08:40:53 AM

Same story, different country.

I'm from the UK. We don't get snow. We get rain. Lots of rain. So in that rare happenstance that things do get cold enough for snow to actually gather on the ground and not instantly melt, peoples minds seem to get switched off. We're not used to snow like you. So we get people with the mentality that they think they can drive at the same speed on the roads that they did before. So what happens? We get half an inch of snow, and the next thing you get reports of pile-ups on the M25 caused by people going too fast.

Sometimes I have to keep reminding myself that half of the population is below average intelligence. Pity thats the half thats appears to cost the most in time, money and effort.

Other stuff to waste your time:
Weightless Dog
My YouTube videos
My Head Talking
Today's Poll
Recent Entries
The BlogRoll
No calendar found.
Monthly Archive
Lotus Domino ND8 RSS News Feed RSS Comments Feed RSS Validator Blog Admin Lotus Geek OpenNTF BlogSphere
Say hi