Southern Life

The snow began falling on Sunday evening. Four to six inches of white stuff below the Mason-Dixon Line can be a nightmare. On one hand everything is okay; we made it to Food Lion before the panicked hordes arrived to clean all the bread and milk from the shelves. On the other, there is a feeling that we are being restrained. Our choices are somewhat limited, which makes us feel trapped. Even the dogs are unsettled.

I haven’t slept very well the last three nights. I’ve been dozing with one eye open waiting for that click and then the deep silence that signals the end of electricity until the linemen make it to our spot on the waiting list. Being without electricity is considered a major catastrophe in America. No TV, no microwave, and no drip coffee that comes on automatically three minutes before you wake up.

If we lose power for more than three days, an emergency situation exists and the governor gets future votes by proclaiming such. Declaring an emergency is good press for the politicians and gives us inspiration to fight through the horrible conditions. Our grandparents lived most of their lives without electricity but we think we are the most advanced people in history.

The local news stations have been in panic mode since the forecast was first made public, trying to scare the crap out of everyone so they will keep their eyes glued to the television, on the website, or thumbing messages furiously to the Twitter accounts. All this while trying to act as if everything is under control. The up and comers were all dispatched into the storm to prove to viewers … something. I’m not sure what sending live humans out into the elements to report on the conditions is supposed to convey, but they all do it.

Each local network wants all of us to know they are here for us. Everything they do each day is designed to improve our city, keep us, the viewers, informed, and do it as effortlessly as possible. It would be nice if you like them better than the competition. Oh, and send all your pictures of the conditions to them. If you are lucky they will make you a star by putting your shaky photo of a ruler stuck into the snow on the station website.

The hearty folks up north who deal with this on a regular basis think we are soft because a dusting of snow paralyzes our cities. They think it proves their superiority over such booger eating southern half-wits. Since it happens regularly in their city, they spend money for equipment and crews to clean the roads. We have more important things to waste our tax dollars on.

We think they are booger eating half-wits because they are too stupid to move to a more hospitable place. We both can sleep at night knowing we are superior to someone so it works out for everybody.

If the weather was nice, I’d be at my desk working on things that are backing up, or reading me some Barry Hannah. As it is I am risking my life to clean the snow off the satellite dish on the roof so I can catch a few episodes of the Green Hornet marathon on the Sy-Fy Network.

All in all, we are surviving nicely, but if this shit doesn’t melt by Thursday there will be murders and suicides.

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Mike Cox

Mike Cox

Mike Cox currently writes a weekly column in South Carolina for the Columbia Star called "It's Not a Criticism, It's an Observation." He is trying to grow old as gracefully as possible without condemning the current generation in charge to doom. Each day this task gets harder as the overwhelming evidence mounts. He currently has two published books; Finding Daddy Cox, and October Saturdays. His columns have won three South Carolina Press Association awards since 2003. Mike has three sons and two grandchildren and lives in Irmo, Sc, just outside of Columbia.