We managed to get through the end of 2015 unscathed by weather, but it didn’t take long into the New Year before we’ve begun dealing with our annual winter nemesis – snow. And no matter how much we know it’s inevitable, we just can’t help ourselves from our usual hysteria.
In the interest of full disclosure, we at WCPO know we’re part of the equation. The media loves the excitement (and ratings/web traffic) of school closings, traffic snarls and the simple beauty of the white stuff. In all fairness, it is no doubt newsworthy.
Greater Cincinnati is the perfect place for the aforementioned hysteria – we’re far enough north that we can get a good amount of snow, but far enough south that it’s not a way of life. We have a mix of rural, suburban and urban terrain that’s just hilly enough to make things interesting.
So the question is: What do you become when the accumulation begins? Here are nine types of people Cincinnatians transform into when snow gets significant:
The Stocker Upper
Let’s get this one out of the way first since it’s well-documented and flat out cliché. The Stocker Upper is a punch line, but is all too real, rushing to their local Kroger to grab as much of the essentials as will fill their cart. They get home before the first flake hits and hunker down like a doomsday prepper. For some reason, milk and bread are the lifeblood of the Stocker Upper. They must really like cereal and PB&Js. Sure, the snow is cleared within a day and they end up with plenty of perishables wasting away in their fridge, but it’s worth it for the peace of mind in knowing that this could have been the big one and they were ready.
The White Knuckler
Another obvious one, the White Knuckler is paralyzed by fear when it comes to snow, so they do the only logical thing – hop in the car and hit the road. They will drive as slow as it takes to maintain their sense of safety, even if it’s at the peril of their fellow drivers. They like to throw on the hazard lights to tell others, “Hey, I can’t handle this, so I suggest you just back off, pal.” When they reach their destination, they will regale their co-workers or family members with tales of their harrowing journey, whether anyone’s interested or not. Godspeed, White Knuckler.
This rugged individual is the polar opposite of the White Knuckler. Armed with their high-priced SUV or foreign luxury sedan, they fear no snow and will prove it to you by sticking to the normal speeds they would drive on a perfectly dry day. They welcome these moments, to prove their purchase was worth it for three to four days per year. You can throw on those hazards all you want, Knuckler, Four-Wheel-Driver will just go around. Nice try.
This individual could be confused with the Four-Wheel-Driver, but there is a difference. They have lived in Buffalo or Minneapolis or Chicago and they know snow. They don’t need four-wheel drive because they could navigate a six-inch dusting on a moped. What they don’t understand is why you’re making a big deal out of it. Like the old man who used to walk to school 10 miles each way uphill, they’ve had it worse than you and they just dealt with it. Two inches of snow? Big deal, The Northerner wore shorts and rollerbladed to work on days like that. The Northerner doesn’t get you or your lifestyle and wants you to stop your whining.
Ah, sweet, sweet Southerner. They are obviously the antithesis of The Northerner, but they’re also not necessarily the White Knuckler. They came from Florida, Texas or Arizona and are just fascinated by the sight of snow. They’re like babies, totally unaware of the dangers that surround them and perfectly happy to live and learn. Give them a few years and they’ll fall into one of the other categories, but for now they just want to know what it’s like to go sledding or make a snow angel. They’re naive but lovable.
Captain Snow Day
This is a person with the luxury of working at home, or even better, works someplace that closes when the weather is bad. So they’re right there with their kids crossing their fingers the night before that the call to close will come in the morning. They have no reason to hate snow because it just means snowball fights with the kids, hot cocoa and Netflix binge-watching. It’s good to be Captain Snow Day.
The Shoveler is a noble and obsessive-compulsive type who can’t wait to start clearing the sidewalks and driveway. In the summertime, they transform into The Mower and in the fall they’re The Raker. Not sure what they do in spring, perhaps they take a vacation to somewhere where there’s snow. This do-gooder will handle the whole street if they’re allowed, cleaning up diligently like a snail eating grime off an aquarium wall. And if more comes down the next day, they’re right back at it. And if you ever want to make their day, buy them a snow-blower and sit back and enjoy the show.
The Diligent One
They work at a job that can’t close, no matter how bad things get. They do what they have to do and make sure everyone knows what a martyr they are. Oh how they envy Captain Snow Day, but that wasn’t their calling in life. They do get the satisfaction of knowing that their heroic bravery trumps everyone else and they sleep well at night… then get up early again to scrape the snow off their car to do it all over again.
This person complains about everyone’s obsession with the snow, but as a result, ironically becomes obsessed with it themselves. Rather than ignore the chaos, they just want to complain about it and in the end become the one who is talking most about it. Some might say this column is a perfect example of The Cynic. Hard to argue with that.
So which one are you?