Fair Warning: I’m a little bit cranky in this ancient bit of venting, as evidenced by the title. Brace yourselves accordingly…
1. Idiots don’t know what snow is.
Stunning as it may seem, there are folks out there who are completely mystified by the white stuff falling from the sky. They have no idea what it might be, even though they and their daddy-uncles have lived in this area all their lives and it snows at some point every year. And they certainly don’t realize that the weird rain can actually stick to things and accumulate. Therefore, they don’t adjust their driving patterns in any way.
Initially, this stupidity makes these dimwits some of the most dangerous creatures on the road during snow or ice storms. They just keep driving like they’ve always driven, hurtling through red lights, paying no attention to lane dividers or other cars, and racing along at speeds that can result in space flight if they hit a pothole just right.
Luckily, because they have no adaptive instincts, these losers are generally the first to hit a patch of ice and plummet into a ditch, their faces registering uncomprehending surprise when they realize that their vehicle is no longer moving. (It can take a while for this awareness to stimulate one of their three brain cells into some type of reaction, so there’s considerable downtime before anything clicks.) As you roll past them in a responsible manner, you will hear them hollering into their cellphone “girl, I don’t know what happened.” Uh huh.
2. Idiots ignore the six-inch layer cake on top of their car.
Folks, you need to get that snow off your car before you get in and drive anywhere. That snow is not going to remain in place just because you’re ignoring it and can no longer see it, once you figure out how to close the door and turn on the car. It’s going to come crashing down at some point, most likely at a very inopportune time. (To be fair, the mere fact that someone has allowed you to leave the house in the first place makes everything that follows basically inopportune.)
But the idiots don’t listen, driving around like a herd of angel food treats have been let loose on the city. This is a ticking bomb, with shock and awe just around the corner, because the rising heat in the car is going to start melting that snow a wee bit. One of three things will now happen, none of them pleasant visions that little girls dream about in their diaries.
The snow is going to break lose while they’re schlepping down the road, most likely at a moment when they are already distracted by cell-phone usage and/or the triple-meat burger they are trying to cram in their mouths while driving. The snow will completely cover the front windshield, resulting in total loss of visibility. Typically, it will take the idiot at least three minutes to realize that they can’t see where they’re going. (Why keep your eyes on the road when Sister-Aunt Lola Jean is texting about a beer festival over to Gruntsville?)
Once it becomes fuzzily clear that something is not right, the idiot will then go into total responsive failure. Instead of gently applying the brakes, they ignore the brakes completely. (For once. See below). Rather, they grasp the steering wheel with their greasy fingers and start jerking it to the right and the left, as if they just need to find the right street where the snow monster doesn’t live. This, of course, causes the car to swerve all over the road and endanger the lives of everyone in a two-block radius. The only thing that will stop this madness is another handy ditch or perhaps a giant crack in the earth that Satan has opened up, giving them a complimentary pass to a colorful land free of snow.
The cake may survive long enough until the idiot is slowing down at an intersection, with the snow tumbling forward when the car comes to a stop. In this case, at least, the danger to nearby cars and buildings is minimized. Instead, we have the idiot finally clamoring out of the car (once they figure out which thing to pull to make the door open) and then just standing there, wondering what they should do now. The idea that perhaps they should scrape the snow off the windshield will not occur to them until they have held up traffic for at least half an hour and there is rioting in the streets.
The final potential fate of the cake is that the idiot will gain enough speed on the slickened road that the snow will blow off the back of the car, becoming angry warheads that slam into the cars behind the idiot. These innocent victims in the trailing cars now must deal with the idiot residue, yet another example of useless people expecting the decent citizens of society to clean up after them.
3. Idiots think that stomping on the brake will solve everything.
Anyone who has at least minimal skills when it comes to driving in the snow is fully aware that the brake pedal is not necessarily your friend. It must be used cautiously, with little taps here and there to correct your course. You do NOT jump on the brake with both feet every time your vehicle starts to slide a little bit.
Idiots don’t get this. When it’s not snowing, they never use the brake. They fly through intersections hours after the light has turned red. They are unable to slow down while navigating school zones, rocketing through and sending little Janie and Johnny running for their lives. They are the people responsible for those mysterious “Guardrail Damage Ahead” signs that you pass on the highway, causing you to wonder just who in the hell managed to hit that. Idiots hit it, because they can’t remember what the brake is for when the sun is shining.
But slap a little bit of ice on the pavement, and some internal mutant gene is triggered within idiots across the land, making them pound on the brake every seven seconds. This, of course, results in the idiots spinning out of control and subsequently shutting down entire road systems with a 38-car pileup. (Go look at any photo of winter-weather smashups. There’s always that one car that looks a little shady and guilty. That there’s your idiot.)
And these idiots always end up on the local news, shaming the nation with their brain-dead logic, limited vocabulary, and inability to realize that they are not a celebrity because a microphone is shoved in their face. “What happened was, I didn’t know there was ice. And the DEVIL took my car and drove it smack into the Taco Hut. Burritos was flyin’ everywhere. Hey, you want some a these kids? I got extra. I ain‘t named some of ‘em yet.”
4. Idiots have no concept of a “rolling stop”.
When the roads are covered in six inches of ice, and your car barely has any traction, you need to keep moving, if at all possible. Coming to a complete stop is utter madness. You don’t do it. Especially if you’re at some pitiful 4-way stop in a residential neighborhood where nobody cares what the hell you do anyway as long as you don’t litter or steal their lawn furniture.
But no, the idiots will slam to a halt before they even get to the intersection. And then they get stuck, wheels spinning, and they are unable to get any forward momentum, with the rear of the car eventually sliding to one side as the tires whiz around pointlessly. Now they are blocking the entire road. Which means you have to stop and therefore lose your traction as well. This is one of those times when we need Carol from “The Walking Dead” to show up and help certain folks look at the flowers.
5. Idiots don’t understand that steep hills should be avoided.
Mr. Idiot, before you attempt to climb that Matterhorn before you, let me explain a few things. I know you won’t listen to me, but I’m going to try anyway, so that I can have a clear conscience when I slap your worthless ass when all is said and done.
Notice, as you gaze up that awe-inspiring ski run, that many folks before you have tried to attempt the same maneuver that you are contemplating. They did not succeed. That is why there are so many cars piled up at the base of the hill, the vehicles pointed in every direction except a natural one. This is something that should not be attempted. You are not going to make it.
But no, you think that you have some special magic that will allow you to succeed where others have failed. This misconception strikes to the bone of why you have been classified as an idiot. You actually believe that your cheap-ass discount piece of crap, with the hamster-wheel engine and the bicycle tires, can get further up the hill than that Hummer over there with the disillusioned yuppie driver who is currently crying into his low-fat latte because his axle busted when it jumped the curb while rolling backwards.
Good luck with that.
6. Idiots don’t prepare for possible travel-by-foot across the tundra.
It’s freezing cold. There’s snow and ice everywhere. And yet you have chosen to get in your vehicle and drive around the city in search of something meaningless that you don’t really need. In making this decision, one would think that you would select adequate clothing options. But you don’t. You throw on a tube top and some stiletto heels, apparently your native dress, and then you hop in the car.
Next thing you know, you’ve slammed into the side of the local Dairy Queen because you were texting one of your idiot friends about the latest music video from your favorite band, The Gonad Banjo. Now you must get out of the car and seek shelter, but you are unable to do so because your pointy heels lock into the ice and your tube top instantly freezes and shatters. My thoughts? You might as well just lay down and become a speed bump for the drive-thru, because your value as a contributing member to society has just expired.
7. Idiots rarely have the proper amount of car insurance, despite laws requiring them to have such.
I don’t think I need to say much more on this point. I’m the one that has to pay for repairs because YOU hit ME without proper protection? I don’t think so. You better start selling off all those penis-compensation weapons I can see on the gunrack in your pickup, because you’ve got some bills to pay, buddy.
8. Idiots travel in packs.
It’s never a single idiot behind the wheel of an obnoxious car that is swerving all over the road, knocking out mailboxes and postal delivery people. It’s a cast of thousands, all of them crammed into a space that normally would only hold four people. Why do you have to bring your entire posse with you just to pick up a pizza at Buford’s Pie Joint? (They deliver, by the way. Or are you afraid to order over the phone because The Government might listen in and tag you as a racist because of the toppings you exclude from your pizza?) Leave some of your tribe at home so they can figure out what needs to be done with the frozen pipes that burst because you don’t understand what “freeze warning” really means. (Then again, you aren’t all that good at protecting your pipe or you wouldn’t have as many kids as you do.)
9. Idiots get defensive when they are called idiots.
You can’t have a reasonable conversation with people who don’t understand that they are responsible for their own actions. They get obnoxiously belligerent when you point out their deficiencies. They think they are on the Jerry Springer show, and instantly resort to the blame-avoiding and the finger-pointing and the inane concept that simply repeating the same clueless phrase over and over will somehow make it the gospel truth.
10. Idiots should not be allowed to procreate.
I realize this has nothing to do with snow travel. But really, isn’t this the elephant in the room? We wouldn’t have any of the above nine issues if there was some type of enforced sperm-control process in place. (Maybe we can get the Gonad Banjo to write a theme song?) Please send an email to your congressional leaders. Make the stupid people go away, whatever it takes.
Original Note: Previously published. Some changes made, partly to soften the bitterness, though there’s still quite a bit of such left. As those of you who have followed for a while may have noticed with these older pieces, I had a severe attitude in 2010. Yet I also scribbled out some of my most tender pieces as well. It was a very strange year…
New Note: The Dallas area is currently in the midst of a (for us) freakish winter-storm mess where the temperature is not expected to rise above freezing for another week. (I’m sure some of you in more northern climes are thinking “welcome to my world”. And that’s fair.) Trouble is, despite the fact that we have had many instances of nasty winter weather before and people should know the dangers by now, many Texans refuse to adjust their “it’s all about me” attitude and act in a decent manner.
This attitude was on full display this past Thursday morning, when there was a shocking pile-up on a Fort Worth highway that involved over 130 vehicles. Six people (so far) have died, and scores of people were injured, some of them critically. And here’s the thing: Every video taken by folks on the other side of the highway, whipping out their cellphones to record the developments, shows the same thing: The whole mess was caused by people barreling along at breakneck speeds despite the ice-storm warning.
Horrible. Indecent. Sad. And it could have easily been avoided.
So, yes, this post is mostly snarky, but the underlying message is this: When the weather is bad, keep your ass at home, especially if you’re an idiot. We’ve had a year of Covid to teach us about doing the right thing, and you don’t need that latte from Starbucks when ice is falling from the skies.