I just got a message from a friend down south (well, southern New Hampshire), wanting to know if I’m preparing for Snowmageddon, which apparently what this upcoming snowstorm is to be called. I know other storms have been called Snowpocalypse, and I’m not sure if there are meteorological distinctions here, or if weather forecasters just toggle back and forth between these two. To sweeten the pot, I propose the following words be added to the rotation: Snowtastrophe, Snowlamity, Snowstruction, Snowsaster and, of course, Snowtheendoftheworldisnigh aka Snowabandonallhope. Call me cynical, but I think the more cinematic the title of a storm, the less likely it is to be memorable. Sometimes the only thing louder than a huge noise is a very small one spoken with urgency. I’ll become concerned when a forecaster comes on and says matter-of-factly, “Bad blizzard coming. Might want to get ready. More at 11.”
My friend had just come from an emergency meeting in the town she works for, where I picture Lego mock-ups of the town square with Matchbox snowplows and ambulances and 55-year-old boys going vroom-vroom as they pour confectioner’s sugar over the scene. In my mind, two men are fighting over a police car while a third man tries to make things more realistic by spraying lighter fluid on Town Hall and starts flicking matches at it. My friend, the town librarian and hence the voice of reason, tries to wrestle the matches away while listening to the police chief talk about instituting martial law for the duration of the emergency.
I’ve laid out these fantasies of small- to medium-town government before, and Dianne has repeatedly told me the emergency meetings are generally staid and boring. I choose not to believe her, and will continue to believe falsely in my dreams, particularly the ones where Dianne defends the library against book burnings by suggesting the angry villagers direct their ire toward the coven of witches behind the annual Halloween Parade.
Her concern about me, though, was genuine and sweet, if misplaced. People who live in civilization and have orderly lives must be concerned about disruptions to that civilization and that order. That had been my life up until last September, so I understand how upsetting a snowstorm can be. Today, though, as a functional hermit on the outskirts of nowhere with no place I need to be before Friday, my preparations for a blizzard consist of making sure my batteries are charged—check—I’ve got water and oatmeal—check—and, well, that’s about it.
If it’s snowing when I get up tomorrow morning, I’ll go out for a walk. If the roads look passable, I may go to the store to get some treats—Wise Cheese Doodles, for instance. If they’re not, I’ll make do with the canned soup, canned vegetables, peanut butter and crackers here, the former heated over a burner if the electricity’s out. Other than that, the blizzard won’t affect me much, although I do appreciate the concern.
I’ll just wait out the end of the storm or the end of the world.