It happened last week. The annual snowpocalypse in the southeastern United States. For those of you from other countries, there are parts of the United States that get a lot of snow for about four months every year. I live in one of those unfortunate places. For us, getting a foot (30 centimetres) of snow overnight just means that we have to spend a little extra time clearing our driveway before we go to work. In the southeastern region of the United States they get snow about once a year, and when they get it, it’s about one to three inches (2-6 centimetres). What makes us Northerners laugh is their reaction to it, or rather their overreaction to it.
Now I know that making fun of southerners reaction to snow is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel, which is apparently something they do in the South. Maybe that’s why they get so upset by snow. Maybe their barrels freeze over and they can’t shoot fish. We’ve all seen news footage of people fleeing a hail of bullets during a terrorist attack. That’s exactly how people in the south flee a hail of…well, hail. Although in the South they’ll try shooting back first, because everyone in the south in America is ‘packing’.
Last year Atlanta, Georgia got a couple inches of snow one day and immediately every motor vehicle on the road just stopped. They didn’t break down or anything, they all put it in park and just sat there waiting for the sun to return. School buses full of children on their way home stopped. The kids slept overnight on the buses parked on the highways. Businesses everywhere just closed up until the white stuff was all gone. Remember when you were a kid and you and your siblings would play that game where you pretend the floor is lava and you have to jump from furniture to furniture? That’s southerners with snow.
This is how we handle snow on the roads up north:
If you’re a grocery store owner in the south you pray for that snowmaggedon each year because in the south people imagine that when that two inches of snow hits, they’re going to have to “hunker down” and survive in their homes for who knows how long. When two inches of snow is forecast they all race to the store to stock up on “provisions.” Families start drawing straws to see which family member they’ll eat first when they run out of food.
I don’t know if there’s any phenomena quite like this anywhere else in the world. If any of you from other countries know of the same or a similar pattern of behavior in your country, I’d love to hear about it. The irony of me posting this today is the fact that I’m in sunny Florida vacationing right now. Have a great Saturday! ~Phil