Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Mostly I Love Winter, Except for....
Unlike a lot of New Englanders, I love winter. Really love it. OK, I hate the short days....but otherwise I love the cold, and it can never snow too much. As it was when I was a kid, I'm even disappointed when I see a snow storm coming to an end. I don't understand others around here who whine about winter.... "It's too cold!"...... "I hate snow!" SHUT UP AND MOVE.
In the past two weeks, we have had a bit of snow. Now I'll get into what irks me this time of year. First, on the eve of the first snowfall, we are inundated by people who want their snow tires installed. Not being magicians, we can't accommodate everyone all at once. What is the matter with these people? When November was finished on their calendars, did they think they were going to flip the page and find July? So they wait, have an epiphany watching the Weather Channel, and are outraged when we won't drop everything to get their bloody snow tires done right away. BASTA! Here's a hint to those I have described above: if you make it to Thanksgiving with no snow, consider yourself lucky and pick up the phone the next day and make an appointment to get your snow tires installed.
Next irksome thing about winter? People driving their cars around with bald summer tires. First, if these happen to be Saabs we have to endure inane complaints about how their cars stink in the snow, how their warning lights are all on, blah blah blah. These same people are outraged that they should deign use snow tires. Next time, they say, they'll buy an AWD this or that....And when they do, if they drive around with bald tires, perhaps they'll realize that no matter what technology you have, you can't undo physics. Slippery roads are slippery roads. Put slippery tires on slippery roads....I don't care if you have 20 wheel drive, you still can't steer or stop so going is not of much use.
The drivers, in Saabs or otherwise, who drive on baloney skin tires in winter should be drawn and quartered, or at least spanked, for endangering the rest of us and causing catastrophic chaos on the roads. During the December 9 storm, I left as I am scheduled to at 2pm in the hopes of arriving in Ipswich by 4:30 to start my teaching. As I proceeded in white out conditions at a slow pace, I heard the traffic reports. My normal route, Route 1, was impassable--meaning that some blokes with baloney skin tires were stuck part way up the hill. I took the Mass Pike to the Ted Williams Tunnel and planned a route taking me via Route 1A and 107, and then making my way to Route 1 at Walnut Street in Saugus. Great plan! I proceeded fine, albeit slowly, until I arrived at the end of the tunnel at Logan. The traffic stopped. And there I sat. And sat. And sat. At long last traffic started to move, and we never knew why. My guess? The ramp from the tunnel to 1A has an incline--mix that with fierce snow and baloney skin tires, and we all end up sitting. I was in the mouth of the tunnel for an hour and a half, and proceeded slowly thereafter. Later in my journey, as I descended Walnut Street to 1, I learned the true evil of baloney skin shod cars. A car attempting to ascend the hill was stuck, spinning its bald tires in futility. Not only did the traffic behind that car back up out of sight, but this froze the movement on the exit ramps from Route 1 in both directions. So one idiot, who probably complains that she hates winter and that her car is no good in the snow, ties up a significant roadway, plus another roadway in both directions. See? You just need one dolt at each interchange, and the entire vehicular world comes to an amazing halt.

My 40 mile ride took me 5 hours (less the 30 minute break I took). I missed out on my students that day. Why? Baloney skins....

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