Singleton

I can’t drive 55!

I can’t drive behind slow people in rush-hour traffic!

And unfortunately, I can’t drive in wintry weather!

It is my mortal enemy. It’s what Dr. Doom was to the Fantastic Four, what Professor Moriarty was to Sherlock Holmes and what Ric Flair was to Dusty Rhodes.

When many people see flakes of snow, they think beautiful things like snowmen and hot chocolate. 

When I see flakes of snow, I think of purgatory.

As I was shoveling the six or more inches of snow that landed on my car last week after Winter Storm Uri blasted the area, I remembered learning in one of college classes, the anthropologist Franz Boas found the Inuit had at least 50 words for snow.

Shawn Singleton only knows a few, most of them four-lettered.

As most people know, I grew up in South Carolina, where we don’t see much snow. It happens about as often as Ben Affleck making a watchable movie. 

I’ve dealt with three hurricanes, two floods and what I think was a small earthquake in my lifetime. 

No big deal.

In Florida, we have what’s called the “Rush Hour Rainstorm.” Every other summer day, between about 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., the Orlando area gets a nasty thunderstorm that lasts about an hour to 90 minutes, then disappears and gets back to being hot and humid again.

The locals are used to driving through it. The tourists, on the other hand, aren’t, so we got a good laugh from the multiple-car pileups from what we thought were terrible drivers.

(We’re some jerks in Central Florida, aren’t we?)

Snow is Karma’s way of saying “you’re in my house now, (expletive deleted)!” to me, and there is nothing I can do about it, except deal with it and drive through it.

It would be one thing if the roads were taken care of. However, certain spots of my drive to the newsroom, to my chagrin, are not – and I’m not referring to Lincoln County. 

That section of Highway 61 shall remain nameless. All I will say is abandon all hope, ye who enter there!

What gets me the most is how the other cars are able to drive on the same roads that I can’t keep control on. I’m trying to keep from sliding off the road into a ditch full of ice and snow at 45 miles per hour while cars and trucks are flying past me at 60 and faster.

Am I the one driving like a snail, or are they driving recklessly? I have no idea. 

(By the way, “snail” is not what I really want to say, but this is a family column.)

 

When I finally reach my destination, I say prayers to everything and everyone I can pray to for getting me there safely. Unless I forgot to get something I really needed that I can’t do without, that is.

Please tell me there’s a gas station, or a Wal-Mart nearby that doesn’t have too much traffic where the roads are half-decent. 

Of course not! My luck’s never that great!

Do I have any more of those prayers left?

The poet E.E. Cummings once wrote, “the snow doesn’t give a soft white damn whom it touches.”

As long as it stops touching me, we’ll be fine.