Thursday, March 4, 2010

THE ENEMY: SNOW

By guest blogger Jeffrey Cohen

I hate winter I like watching snow melt. It's like watching Nazis die.

Let's be frank, here--I hate snow. Hate. Not that I consider it a minor inconvenience or that I always hurt my back while shoveling (which I do). I mean, I hate snow. All the time. Have for decades.
Now. I also want to be completely clear on one point: I do not, ever, mean to impinge on your right to adore snow if you feel like it. You think shoulder-high piles of exceeding cold, wet, blinding matter that serves no purpose and brings your life to a screeching halt for a day or two, possibly bringing down power lines and endangering life, is wonderful, more power to you. I respect your view. Enjoy it.

But don't try to convert me, okay? Let's both save our energy for clearing the driveway.

Shoveling snow I consider snow the enemy. It interferes with what I want to do. It can sometimes impede my livelihood (as last week's latest in a series of Noreasters kept me from my regular teaching gig in Philadelphia). It can endanger my health (how many overweight middle-aged men have heart attacks shoveling snow every year?). Every time snow is forecast, I take a look out at my sidewalk, my driveway, the street where my car is parked, and I say a mental farewell to all that, knowing that soon, the whole thing will be a slippery, frozen death trap requiring my attention and confining me to quarters.

And this year, every time it snowed, when I turned on my TV to escape from reality, what did I see?
Winter olympicsThe Winter Olympics. Life ain't fair.

Now, the snow advocates will be screaming, "but it's so beautiful!" Swell. Send me a picture of snow, and I'll look at it all you want. The rings of Saturn are beautiful, too, but I'm relatively sure I wouldn't want to live on them.

By the way, anyone who thinks snow is so beautiful is welcome to come by and shovel me out the next time some falls. I wouldn't want to curtail your fun. Please, feel free.
This past February, the area in which I live was buffeted (and I don't mean with trays of ziti on Sterno) by three major snowstorms. By the end of the month, I wasn't hearing so many people tell me how beautiful snow is anymore.

Palm tree Let's consider the facts, shall we? (True snow believers are no doubt already shaking their heads, since they deal in the aesthetic, not the factual.) The countries with the highest suicide rates? Belarus, Lithuania, Russia, Kazakhstan, Latvia. LOWEST suicide rates? Antigua, Haiti (yes, Haiti!), Honduras, Jordan, Saint Kitts, followed closely by Egypt, Syria, Jamaica and Iran (yes, Iran!). It doesn't take a professional data analyst to figure out one major difference between those two lists.

Also: Is there a "holiday" upon which a nocturnal rodent is called upon to predict whether or not we'll be subjected to six more weeks of SUMMER?

Ask your travel agent whether s/he books more trips to Bermuda or Antarctica. Go ahead; I'll wait.
Again, I have no desire to "cure" you of your enjoyment of snow. I'm happy for you, truly. Some people like eating liver, too. Doesn't make them wrong.

But I hate snow. And I'll continue to hate it, probably for the rest of my life.

Now you're asking: Well, if you hate snow so much, why don't you move out of New Jersey, where you're going to get some pretty much every winter?

Have you seen what it costs to live in a place that never gets snow?
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Night Living Deed Jeffrey Cohen is NOT the author of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED: A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery, coming from Berkley Prime Crime on June 1. That author is E.J.Copperman.