Getting an inch of snow is like winning 10 cents in the lottery.—Bill Watterson
Those of us sitting here in the heart of the Midwest are feeling rather pleased this morning. Sure, it’s cold, as it always is in January, but this year we’ve gotten off lucky. There is, at most, maybe two-and-a-half inches of snow on the ground with no more in the immediate forecast. By most any comparison, this is proving to be a delightfully mild winter and that makes us very happy.
Our friends along the East coast, from Virginia to Massachusets, are bracing for a blizzard this afternoon that could dump two to three feet worth of snow on them. Boston, of course, home of the everlasting winter, knows how to handle an event like this. After last year’s great snow-in, this storm is practically a cake walk. For our nation’s capitol, though, this snow is an Armageddon. The mayor of Washington D.C. has closed city schools and offices at noon, and is encouraging businesses around the city to do the same. Even underground transit will be closed by Saturday.
Federal offices are closed as well, which is great for all the government employees who actually get things done. Be sure that all the hot air, otherwise known as Congress, has already left the city, which may be one reason so much snow is in the forecast. In a way, though, D.C.’s tragedy is a great advantage for the rest of the country in that, the longer Congress stays away, the longer they can’t do something stupid, like attempting to repeal the Affordable Care Act for the 50 gazillionth time. From that perspective, the rest of the country wouldn’t really mind if the city stayed socked in until Spring. Sorry, D.C.
Since we have so very much experience with piles upon piles of snow, I thought this might be a good time to share some of our expertise with those who are about to experience one of nature’s most amazing displays of power. You really have no defense against a storm like this, so it is better to make some last-minute adjustments this morning so you’ll be able to survive until Monday. Not this coming Monday, mind you. We’re thinking the third Monday in April if you’re lucky. Here is our list of essentials.
- Rush to the store and buy everything. It doesn’t really matter how much food you already have, you must go buy more. Buy anything edible, just in case it doesn’t stop snowing and this is the beginning of the next ice age and you’ll never see your friends and family unthawed again. It doesn’t even matter if you don’t have enough room in your refrigerator. When it’s this cold, you can store foods right outside your window. Most likely, there’s not much left on the stores now but bad beer and brussel sprouts, but that can keep you alive.
- Make new friends and invite them over. This is a perfect time to make lots and lots of new friends. Hang out at the coffee shop (which will be the last place to close) and buy coffee for any prospective new partners. Now’s not the time to stand on morality, though, and it certainly isn’t a good time to be embracing monogamy. The more the marrier, and warmer! You never know but what you might need to help re-populate the city. This also gives you more options should you run out of food.
- “Borrow” the Netflix passcodes from four or five additional people. You don’t want to run out of entertainment during the storm, but neither does anyone else, and, sadly, Netflix has limits as to the numbe of devices that can be signed on to a single account simultaneously. Everyone is going to be watching Netflix, which means the passcodes belonging to the most popular people are likely to be ineffective. Stock up. Get the passcode from that little old lady three doors down who has all the cats. Hit up the wino on the second floor. Check around on dating sites. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
- Refill all your medications. This can be a little tricky if you’re on something that is highly regulated, but the last thing you, or any of us, want is for you to get stuck three days in without your crazy pills. This is a severe danger, because people on anti-depressants are often to depressed to remember their refills, and people on anti-anxiety meds are too jacked up to go by the pharmacy. There are also those regulartions about the number of pills you can have at one time. Lie. Go to multiple pharmacies. Do whatever it takes to make sure you have enough meds to get you through until Spring. Just don’t take them all at once.
- Assemble all the candles you can find. I’m not sure there are any Wicks ‘N’ Sticks locations still open (their website is completely gone), but if nothing else this would be a very good time to raid the Dollar Tree. It doesn’t matter if the candles have pictures of the Virgin Mary or Donkey from Shrek, you need all the candles you can find. Power outages are inevitable during a storm like this, and flashlights just don’t cut it because you can’t heat up a can of Dinty Moore over a fucking flashlight. You need candles. Be sure to save the wax as it melts, too, because it’s reusable once your other candles are gone. You can use shoestrings as wicks because you aren’t going anywhere.
- Leave instructions for your next of kin. Sadly, not everyone is going to survive this storm. As the days linger on and you grow hungry and delerious, you may post things on social media that would tarnish your sterling reputation. Make sure your next of kin knows your username and password for all your social media accounts so they can delete that shit upon your demise. You want people to remember the good, happy side of you, not the starving, raging, homicidal maniac you are about to become.
That’s about the best advice we have to offer. Those survival steps have kept folks in the Midwest going for almost 200 years now. We wish everyone about to be affected by today’s storm good health and long periods of sanity. For those who don’t make it, we promise to miss you and think of you every time we’re stranded and shivering in the cold. Be careful, stay safe, and, should you survive, keep in touch.