Sunday, November 28, 2004

The Onset Of Winter

Yesterday marked the first major snowfall of the year, and thus the beginning of winter weather. With it come the traditional signs of winter: children's ruddy cheeks, steaming cups of hot cocoa, and the stupidest driving in the world. Yes, the lovely white snow that blankets our lawns and cars also seems to settle in on our minds. It is inevitable that on the very first day of snow, people will celebrate by driving like maniacs. So I offer my helpful Winter Driving Tips:

1. Unless you are driving a snowplow, try not to drive on an unplowed street. (If you are driving a snowplow in the center lane, please don't play "chicken" with people trying to make left-hand turns.)
2. If you have to drive on an unplowed street, don't be the first to do so, because it's better to drive in the tire tracks of someone who went before.
3. If you have to be the first to drive on an unplowed street, go really slow. This will infuriate your neighbors, who, upon seeing you dare to be the first, will immediately jump into their cars and follow you because they didn't want to be first, but still have places to go.
4. Be sure to allow plenty of extra time for turning, accelerating, and braking, for both yourself and the other drivers. This means you, station wagon who pulled out into the intersection as I was climbing a hill and made me swerve and slide into oncoming traffic. (fortunately I wasn't hit)
5. Do not attempt to go the speed limit. If you are in such a terrible hurry or your errand is so important that the laws of physics do not apply to you, please try to go much, much faster so that we can all be entertained by watching you spin out and hit a light pole.
6. Watch the cars and tire tracks ahead of you for clues to what's in your path. Tire tracks that lead into a nearby building usually indicate a patch of ice hidden under the snow.