About last night …

Alternate Title: The weatherpeople all shit the bed.

Alternate Alternate Title: Salt Trucks. DO THEY EXIST? [X-Files Music]

Yesterday evening as my husband and I prepared to leave our children with the sitter so we could head down to the Pens game, the skies, forecast to remain closed until the early morning hours at which time they might give us 1-3 inches of snow, suddenly opened up and projectile vomited forth a wind-whipped blizzard of giant clumpy snowflakes.

I hate being in a car during a snowstorm and my husband hates being in a car with me during a snowstorm because I tend to freak out from residual trauma from an icy bridge spin in Arkansas — state motto: Nightmares happen here. And then you die.

I am such a terrible snow passenger that he created a drinking game on the way to the arena.

Each time I said, “Honey. Be careful.” he pretended to take one shot.

Each time I slammed my open hand against my car door attempting to brace myself for the certain vehicular catastrophe we would experience traveling at 30 mph, he pretended to take two shots.

Each time I said with panic while pumping an imaginary passenger side brake, “Leave more room for stoppage!” he pretended to take three shots.

And each time I put my head between my knees and said any manner of “Oh, sweet Jesus.” or “Ohpleaseohpleaseohpleaseohplease,” he pretended to drink the whole bottle.

While those to the north of the city at this time (about 5:40 p.m.) were tweeting how horrible the roads were, coming from the East actually wasn’t bad at all. Just slushy, really.

Sitting in the arena during the game, we periodically checked the weather and tweets, etc. only to read increasingly worrisome things like “Shit. Spun out.” or “Couldn’t make it home. Crashing at a friend’s house.” or “Tunnels shut down. WTF?” or “HELL HAS COME, ALL YE PEOPLE OF PITTSBURGH. WHERE IS YOUR GROUNDHOG GOD NOW?”

We left the arena after the second period …

Yes. We are the worst fans in the history of the Penguins. We don’t deserve the tickets. We don’t deserve the opportunity to be there. We should not be allowed to call ourselves Penguins fans, etc. etc. etc.

We had a sitter waiting for us. She needed to get home. We’re going to talk about this “PEOPLE WHO LEAVE EARLY ARE ASSHOLE BANDWAGON FANS” mentality another time, because it needs to be talked about, but this post is about driving through hell on untouched roads, not asshole bandwagon fans like me.

So just for now, put aside your indignation at me and many parents like me who dare to leave a game early. You can stone me later. Here, I’ll hang my head in shame for a second if that’ll help.

[hangs head in shame]

We left the arena to be met with exactly what the Penguins of Madagascar found upon arriving in Antartica. Suck.

So much snowy suck. Are we walking on the street or the sidewalk? Who can know because the roads hadn’t been touched downtown.

The Parkway looked like this:

Then we hit the other side of the Squirrel Hill Tunnels to find a giant snowy parking lot. No one was going anywhere. We gave up around 10:00 and headed to a nearby Eat n Park to wait out whatever it was that stopped everything. In this case, it turned out to be a jackknifed tractor trailer at the Forest Hills exit, we were told.

We weren’t the only thing that quit at 10:00. The buses gave up too, probably stranding lots of real, non-asshole bandwagon fans at the arena.

One hour, two cups of coffee and a shared Grilled Stickies a la Mode later, the Parkway was crawling again, so we sent the babysitter a text and ventured back out to attempt another run at home.

It was ridiculous. Not one salt truck or plow spotted. Cars spun out. Trucks mired in snow drifts. People abandoning their cars.

I realize this storm was unexpected. I realize it was a holiday. But this morning, some eight hours after the snow stopped, downtown streets were still covered in an inch or more of snow and ice. Eight or nine hours after accumulation stopped and the city was still almost entirely snow-covered, including the primary routes. Major arteries just clogged with artery-clogging snow.  And “emergency routes”? I’m beginning to think that means “In case of emergency, this road will be a fun place to sit and watch screaming, terrified people do 360s in the snow. BYOPopcorn.”

We did make it home safely last night after midnight. Between the door slaps and the PLEASE BE CAREFULs and the Oh, sweet baby Jesus in heaven I DO NOT WANT TO DIE TONIGHTs, my husband had approximately 244 “shots” over the 16 harrowing, treacherous miles home.

And we aren’t even counting the times as we prepared to descend a steep hill that I sincerely requested he try to render me unconscious with a Vulcan nerve pinch.

That’s just off the drinking game charts. That’s on the “My Wife Done Lost Her Mind” charts.

Okay, you may stone me now. I just ask that before you do it, you try the Vulcan nerve pinch on me.


  1. matt pritt
    February 24, 2011 5:02 pm

    @empirechick Thanks for the kind words. I tend to post only when I feel a real compulsion too. Besides, I have my own page to maintain, plus there are a couple of message boards that I comment on so I only chirp up when I believe chirping is appropriate.

    @bucdaddy I have a feeling we have pretty similar attitudes when it comes to weather forecasting around these parts, and this wasn’t the first time I railed at the failures of the local fearmongers who have gotten it wrong. One of my more recent diatribes
    I wasn’t trying to plagiarize, just venting as per usual, though I will give a nod to the late Richard Jeni for the window reference, which was in his Platypus Man standup routine on HBO, possibly one of the funniest hours of TV I have ever seen.