My Private Idaho

by wjw on January 3, 2015

privateidahoThis morning’s surprise was to look out the window and see 4-5 inches of fresh powder lying on everything.  My neighbor had hooked up a small sled to his ATV and was pulling his little girl around his yard.   (Safety experts would cringe, but I thought it was lovely, and kinda wanted to jump on myself.)

We usually get 3-4 severe winter storms each season, but the snow almost always melts after a few hours.  This storm came after many days in which the temperature rarely got above freezing, so this white stuff will be around for a while.

If I’m feeling more immortal than usual, I can take the car out and watch New Mexicans try to drive through this stuff.  It’s always good for some laffs, if you don’t mind being in mortal danger.

New Mexico has about the worst drivers anywhere in the lower 48— and I have driven in Louisiana, with its drive-up daiquiri stands!— and nothing amuses them more than piling out onto the roads during a storm to put themselves and their neighbors in peril.  They don’t know that you’re not supposed to tailgate when it’s icy.  They don’t know that it takes a long time to stop.  They don’t know how to recover from a skid.  They don’t know how easily a big pickup will fishtail in certain conditions.  (And we have a lot of stupid people in big pickups who are a hazard even when it’s not snowing.)

And of course, you’d have to be a Communist to suggest that they shouldn’t drink and drive.  It’s their right!  It’s in the Constitution, or something . . . somewhere.  Isn’t it?

So I think I will stay indoors in my nice warm house, eat my tamales and posole, and watch the winter wonderland from the safety of my front window.



Anonymous January 3, 2015 at 8:45 pm

have the exact same conditions in kokkola right now – tomorrow 500 km drive south to turku (will drive through kankanpää). no pick-up trucks.
– marcus

wjw January 4, 2015 at 9:13 pm

At least the Finns know how to drive in bad weather!

When you pass through my ancestral village of Kankanpää, be sure to wave at my relatives.

mearsk January 6, 2015 at 6:20 pm

You should experience the joy of Seattle-ites driving in the snow. It’s downright hilarious. My favorite part is when they decide to stop in the middle of a major interstate and abandon their cars because it’s snowing and they have no clue what to do.

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