White, powdery stuff that makes people go all hyperactive and insane. No, not cocaine, snow.
If you’ve been dreaming of a white 11th February here it is, merry 11th February, everybody’s having…ridiculous fantasies about how snow in a city is a romantic thing instead of the slip hazard, traffic clusterfuck, pain in the brass monkey glands it actually is.
Yes, that’s right, I’m a grumpy old shit. You’ve met me, right?
I did enjoy snow once. Twice, now I come to think about it. The first time was when I was about thirteen years old and a deep, term-time fall ensured school was closed for a couple of days. And then there was that snowboarding incident in Aachen, Germany, in late 2001. I say snow ‘boarding’ when it was in truth more a case of snow ‘being upright for half a second then falling over and sliding down a cold, wet hillside for a quarter of a mile’. Oh the bruises. The moral of that story might be ‘don’t get enormously stoned and then expect yourself to be able to remember your own name, let alone remain vertical on a snowboard’.
Pavements and snow are a fatal combination, second only in terms of deadliness to pavements and ice. No, I don’t mean sidewalks, I’m not in America until next week.
Paul Simon wrote a song warning of the dangers of urban snowfall in his classic paean to broken hips, Slip Slidin’ Away. See, even the great and the good change their minds about snow as they get older. No more romantic notions concerning “freshly fallen, silent shrouds” of the stuff for our Paul. No sir, he hates it now. Hates it like Conservatives hate the notion of a society which is fair to all regardless of income or status.
But never mind for next week the cold and the snow will no longer be my concern. Ohio, as everyone knows, is permanently in a state of tropical heaven. It will be sangria by the pool, dips in Lake Erie to cool down, thin cotton tee shirts at midnight and…hypothermia due to my entire lack of understanding of just how close to areas of permafrost the Northern American states actually are.
Snow is bigger in America; a single Ohioan snowflake would flatten my hometown. Luckily I will have a woolly hat to protect me. Not a bobble hat, those are for twats from the seventies.