1.18.2013

7 Things You Must Know About Southerners and Snow

snow in atlanta
Once Upon a Time ... Winter in Atlanta. But Not Today.

In the South, we use the tiniest provocation to declare an inclement weather day, particularly betwixt New Years Day and March 1, at which point we fully expect the return of 75 degree weather.

So I was a little surprised this morning, after hearing of the apocalyptic 2 inches of snow which fell in Jackson, Miss. and witnessing (on the national news, no less) students on campus at the University of Alabama tossing acorn-sized snowballs at one another, that a 2-by-2 inch patch of ice wasn't located on a dirt path at the far reaches of the county line so school could be cancelled. Someone in charge simply isn't trying hard enough.

I'm counting on the good folks of Fulton County to find at least one decent opportunity to cancel school due to snow and/or ice this winter, and offer the following tips for non-Southerners to survive should there be an accumulation of greater than 8 snowflakes:

Do not purchase and/or dress your children in water-resistant and warm ski clothing to play in the snow. It throws off the timing for local children, which is: soak your jeans and sweatshirt playing in the snow, develop mild frostbite, come inside, strip, throw clothing in dryer, enjoy hot chocolate, put dryer-warmed clothing back on, repeat.

The roads will not be cleared of snow and ice and will remain hazardous until a thaw. Southerners take pride in the fact we only have 1 snow truck per 1 million people, and that none of those people know how to operate a snow truck.

On that note, day 3 of a genuine winter event is the most dangerous. Because the roads are still a mess, and now you have a bunch of Southerners wild with cabin fever and low on winter-driving skills attempting to navigate themselves to the grocery store even though they have a fully-stocked pantry. It has roughly the same impact as getting drunk and going roller skating. That is, you probably won't end up dead, but you may spend weeks taking painkillers and explaining your black eyes and stitches while saying "it seemed like a good idea at the time."

The people who most closely resemble the cast of Duck Dynasty are your greatest hope for returning home safely. These people always have heavy chains, four-wheel drive, a pocketknife, chewing gum and complete obliviousness for personal safety. Down here, that's all you really need in any given situation -- no matter the season.

Find something at your house to utilize as a sledding mechanism. Purchasing a giant plastic apparatus (or, heaven forbid, a sled) exposes you as a sissy. Several options include, but are not limited to, cardboard boxes, wagons, plastic bin tops and large baking sheets. All of these items increase the danger factor of hurtling one's self down a steep, icy hill, thus qualify as appropriate equipment for a day of Southern winter fun.

This is prime outdoor people-watching season. Because no one, and I mean NO ONE in the South has footwear that can sustain motion across a remotely slick surface. There will be full-grown men tromping through snow wearing boat shoes. There will be well-manicured and fully coiffed women wearing Jimmy Choo's. These people will, almost certainly, end up skidding, on their backsides, flailing across parking lots and sidewalks, trying to grab hold of anything that will stop their free-spin into oblivion. Or, the row of hedges. At this, they will fail. This will all happen in less than a millisecond, when they will attempt to snatch themselves upright while taking stock to see if anyone saw their wintertime disgrace. You did. Hi.

Mittens are permissible indoors if it enables us to continue to drink sweetened iced tea. There are some things Southerners will do stubbornly no matter what the temperature. Please move on, there's nothing to see here.

The best part about a snow day in the South? It offers the rare opportunity to be stuck at home with your family with nowhere to be and nothing to do.

Sounds like heaven to me.

I never thought I'd say this after living in Wisconsin, but ...

{Let it snow. Let it snow. Let it snow.}

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