I had plans for Christmas day. I had planned on watching movies at the theater by myself but I ended up watching Sex and the City series on DVD again by myself. There was something in the way of my plan. Seattle citizens and authorities are morons. I am going to back up to the Monday before last. We were supposed to get snow and everyone was freaking out. The news called for possibly one to three inches. Possibly we got none. In the meantime though the public schools cancelled classes. I was appalled. People at work were staying home or leaving early to beat the weather that never came. Training classes that had taken weeks to schedule were cancelled. I made sure everyone at work knew that I thought they were morons for reacting the way they were. I could understand ice being a problem but snow? They were talking to the girl that went out to get beer for the Super Bowl in four feet of snow in a Honda Prelude. That occurred mostly because I needed to not be sober and I didn’t really care who won. Anyway, one lady told me that she grew up in the Midwest where they declared Marshall law because of the weather and the weather in Seattle was worse. There was so much about that comment that made me want to punch her in her platypus shaped suckhole. Never once growing up in WNY did the National Guard or Army take over the city or area because of weather. No ma’am, get a grip. The next two days the mountains and passes got a bit of snow but that’s expected in higher elevations in late fall, yes? On Wednesday when I got home from work the news was calling for about four inches of snow overnight and they were correct. Thursday morning was snowy and a couple people said they were working from home. I wanted to use it as an excuse to escape my light grey, three-walled miserable existence that suffocates every fiber of my being. It has been disguised as my career. I figured I would shovel that morning and be in on Friday. On that afternoon however I went out back and cleared the snow off Jetta. I started backing up but my foot slipped off the clutch because my shoes were so wet and I stalled. A little maneuvering and I was still stuck, barely one car length out of my parking spot. I got out and started digging the snow away from my tires with the ice scraper. It wasn’t very deep but it was slippery enough to cause a ruckus. Plus I managed to get the rear left tire on the 2 inches of grass next to the light pole and that wasn’t getting any traction either. I was practically under the Jetta digging away when I heard a voice behind me. It was the guy that lives in the house next to my building and they have been doing heavy construction on it since I moved here. He and his ‘wife’ were snowboarding down the little hill in their front yard. “Unless you have four wheel drive or chains you aren’t going anywhere.” Silly me responded “even the main roads?” I could see them on the other side of the hill in front of the gangsta golf course and they were clear. “Well no but you can’t get to them without chains or four wheel drive,” he reiterated. I had no further response because I was confused. I had Jetta in Buffalo last year and never got stuck. I checked with Grandpa and he was fairly certain we weren’t even allowed to have chains. They tear up the road. Then the neighbor walked away. Hey, thanks for helping me get my car back into the spot! Thanks for the shovel too! If I was home four dudes in Carharts would have been there helping to shovel and push. I gave up on Jetta after my friends who came to help also got stuck in front of the building so I decided to start clearing the steps to the building. There are some older people in the building and a girl with a baby and even though I resented doing it, I didn’t want anyone to get hurt. If I have to be the only one capable of removing snow, then so be it. The only shovel that I could find though was a garden spade. I had to scrap and push the snow with the side of the rusty blade. It took at least an hour for me to get it done and luckily I fused the bottom three vertebrae of my spine together in the process. As I was “shoveling” another neighbor left in his truck. He came walking back 40 minutes later. Not a good sign. I chalked the experience up to a four day weekend. I had groceries so I was kind of relieved to not go to work on Friday. Nothing I do is all that important actually so I thought they could spare me. If my boss doesn’t notice when I’m out sick for two days, I was sure he wouldn’t mind much during a ‘weather emergency.’ On Friday night my friends came to get me to go to dinner and drinks. My neighborhood was undeniably nasty but the main roads were fine. You just couldn’t get to them. My friend’s Land Rover was a live pinball the night before when they attempted to help me dig out Jetta so I had to walk down the hill to meet him because he wouldn’t drive up the hill. He slid down the hill and around the corner in one big motion, barely stopping at the traffic light and almost taking out three parked and abandoned cars in the meantime. We had a lovely time at dinner except the restaurant kept running out of everything and the waiter was a total creeper. Eventually my friend got fed up and asked ‘why don’t you just tell me what’s left.’ I think I tasted spit in our seared Hanoi tuna.
A few days in your home alone with no where to go is cathartic sometimes. It’s nice to have a break from needing to be somewhere. I, however, was going bat shit crazy after only three days. I don’t have cable and I was out of booze, a terrible combination for a Pollack with ADD. I decided to walk to the 7-11 down the street because they sell Yellow Tail wine for a fairly good price. It wasn’t terribly cold out and the streets were a bit mushy but not wet. The sidewalks though were a cluster fuck. There was a tow truck rescuing an abandoned car halfway to the store. The driver and I exchanged ‘what the fuck’ looks as I walked by. He wasn’t impressed to be out in this crap and I just wasn’t impressed. I was snotting down my face by the time I got there. I grabbed some Yellow Tail merlot and chips and spinach dip. I didn’t think I would need anything else. Whoever heard of being snowbound because of a foot of snow for 5 days?
Well they aren’t morons for nothing. We would get a few inches every day but I don’t think it ever exceeded 18 inches total. Apparently the city only has 27 plows and doesn’t use salt because the runoff endangers the baby salmon. Fuck the baby salmon, but they are delicious smoked and on a Triscuit. However, people were freaking the fuck out. People would get stuck trying to go up a hill so they would just abandon their cars. There were hundreds of cars all over the city just left there by people who were braver than their tires were snow-capable. Or they were total dumbasses. Even the city buses that had chains were getting stuck. The double length buses were taking the worst of it so they decommissioned them. I don’t really remember the half-assed reason why. They also took the handicapped accessible buses out of service because they were getting too much snow in the wheel wells due to their low positions. ‘Fuck you handicapped people!’ is basically what the city said. This all wouldn’t be so terrible except people were taking the public transport more than usual because they couldn’t move their cars. People were using snow shoes just to get to the bus stops then had to wait two hours sometimes. Greyhound stopped service and were making people sleep at the bus station or a homeless shelter. Wow, talk about a stellar choice. Sleep in a filthy bus station or get shenked at a homeless shelter for your shoes. Seatac airport ran out of deice fluid. Let me rephrase: Alaska Airlines ran out of deice fluid and they also subcontract it to the other carriers. Flights were cancelled for days. When they finally were restocked with the deice fluid things were picking up and flights were on their way until one morning when some fluid got inside a plane and they had to take all the air crew to the hospital and several passengers as well. How does that happen? The only way I can picture it is if they left the door open. Now, correct me if I am wrong but don’t they usually announce when the doors are indeed closed? “Oh my gosh I am so sorry I forgot to shut the door, but the pilot needed a blow job!”, is what I picture the flight attendant saying.
I had enough on Saturday. I had already cooked and eaten all the dried beans I had and was out of pasta sauce. After I took the garbage out I got into Jetta and fired her up without fail. God bless Germexican engineering/manufacturing. Oh yeah, the last time I got stuck the gas light also came on. Brilliant. She backed right up and moved forward without a fuss until I got halfway up the little driveway hill and got stuck. I backed up and made a right turn onto the gravel driveway. About two car lengths into the trip I got stuck. I backed up and started forward again. Back and forth we went with no progress and the gas light flashing in my face. At this point the black lab doggy in the house next to the driveway came out to investigate. I am a dog person and have a little fatty of my own but I disliked this dog and wondered how much trouble I would be in if my gas pedal slipped. Her owner followed her out though and offered that down the driveway it was hard packed and not a problem. “Yes, I just have to get there,” I said and gestured to the ruts I put in the driveway with Jetta’s brute Nazi force. She looked confused but a man was coming toward us and after quickly surveying the situation offered that the hill would be easier. Who comes down the driveway but Helpy Helperton from last week that walked away when I was stuck the first time. The random man and Helpy shoveled the mini hill off so I could get out. Helpy turned out to be pretty nice and Polish, Irish and German. Luckily for me his wife or whatever was watching creepily from the balcony of another building with her friend. I could feel the hate like infrared heat waves of a countertop oven being sold by Mr. T. I can’t say I don’t meet men because I do. They are usually just married or actors and part of my delusional drunken fantasy life, which isn’t bad. John Krasinksi and I have beautiful babies with big noses. The shoveling worked and Jetta was free. I let someone else drive it up the driveway in secret hopes it would run out of gas and I could blame it on someone else. It did not. As I pulled away and down the road I yelled “FREEDOM” as loudly as I could, like Mel Gibson in Braveheart. It was too bad I didn’t have a handkerchief with a thistle on it though that I could let slip through my clenched, dead, heroic fist. Minus the dead part.
I believe this story has a few morals. One, make sure you have enough groceries at home. Even if you don’t need it, if it’s on sale and a good deal, just buy it. You will eat it eventually. I discovered coffee creamer could outlast a nuclear winter, along with cockroaches. At work one day a guy in the café told me to read the label of the creamer and said there were a lot of chemicals in it. Seriously, I couldn’t believe that this guy was lecturing me about the effects of coffee creamer. Too bad he didn’t know about the vodka, beer and black tar heroin coursing through my veins. Second, probably not bad to own a real snow shovel and rock salt. Even if it never snows, you don’t know when you will need to hid the body of an ex boyfriend. You could also use the salt for margaritas. Third, have the number of a chiropractor handy. I can barely bend over. Fourth, don’t be afraid to ask for help. It won’t help if you ask an asshole though. Fifth, even if it isn’t your fault, your corporate master will charge you vacation time when you couldn’t make it in because the city couldn’t plow a $2 hooker and is trying to save the baby salmon. Don’t fight it. They don’t care.