There were several things to take away from the ice storm that blanketed much of the Southeast last week and left our area roadways so dangerous that many local bars actually closed. These are bars that stay open during medium-sized hurricanes, so that ice storm really knocked us off our pins.
And, of course, that’s the number one thing that came out of Ice Storm Leon, as someone at the Weather Channel decided to name this event. Being covered with ice and snow absolutely screws us up all over the South. The Mobile area was relatively inconvenienced — such as when my kitchen achieved 51 degrees one morning and I was forced to buy an Amish stove from a drug store — but that was nothing compared to what happened in Atlanta and Birmingham. They all apparently got a different forecast than the rest of us and decided to just wing it. The next thing you know, people are sleeping in Rite Aids and doctors are trudging six miles through the ice to deliver babies and check people’s prostates, or something like that.
Those cities were so off their game it even resulted in some ancillary fighting with national meteorologists, most notably Al Roker of “Today Show” fame, as to whether they were properly warned or not. Their mayors were pilloried over the whole thing, and you really don’t want to be pilloried when it’s below 20 degrees. Trust me. It is really uncomfortable.
But the worst that came out of Leon — other than having to acknowledge sleet as having the name Leon — was that it gave a bunch of smart-ass Yankees an opportunity to jump on social media and lord over the idiot Southerners who can’t handle a couple of inches of snow and ice.
After all, it was like –300 degrees in Chicago last week. People’s thoughts froze in mid-air and shattered on the streets. Thieves used their nipples to cut glass and steal diamond bracelets, which also froze and shattered. A man’s arm actually snapped off when he tried to throw a snowball. (Some of these examples have not been verified.)
So I get it, we Southerners look like a bunch of wusses because we shut everything down due to Leon. To be fair, all of us below the Mason-Dixon got slammed on Facebook primarily because people in Atlanta and Birmingham did kind of spaz out, but they are our Southern brethren and an accusation of regional stupidity affects us as well. Lord knows they’ve suffered before because of us. I’m looking right at you Wilmer and your violated mini-horses.
There have been some articles written trying to defend what happened in B-ham and Coldlanta, but of course they were shouted down in the social media sections of their websites by half-shaved mooks from Jersey, Philly, New York and Chicago who were convinced our troubles in the ice were just more evidence of regionally low IQ. You know how it is, if you’re from the South you’re automatically a moron who’s taken your cousin to the prom. It fills some kind of void in the Northeastern-Midwestern soul to look down upon Southerners as hillbillies, so Leon got that all cranked up.
While the notion that IQ is somehow regionally grouped is ridiculous, I’m not going to argue that we all probably looked pretty wimpy kowtowing to Leon as we did. People freaked out. My wife was having serious discussions with me about what shoes I needed to wear on the ice. We were all warned not to drive anywhere for any reason. We were basically supposed to act as we would if swarms of locusts had hit town.
Of course, as anyone who has ever lived up North knows, driving on ice is dangerous, but totally doable if you drive slowly. So there was really no reason for our bars to close except that our drunks are already challenged enough getting home.
Listen, I got stuck on the runway at the Atlanta airport once for seven hours because the world’s busiest airport only had one de-icer. So I know we lose it in the ice and snow. We’re not prepared. And that’s where the jerks who took to the web to denounce us and laugh have it all wrong.
They do the same thing when the weather flips the script on them. Google “schools close because of heat” and up will pop tons of stories about wimpy Northerners shutting everything down because it got into the 90s. Oh my, 90! We laugh at 90. Our schizophrenics are still wearing full-length furs at 90. Our butts aren’t even sticking to our car seats at 90. What a joke.
How anyone who has missed work or school because it’s 90 can have the gall to criticize us for being frightened of ice and snow is amazing. At least you can fall and break your arm on ice. What’s the worst thing heat can do, besides cause heat stroke and death. Take that one away and all you have left is sweat. They’ve got nothing!
And while we’re at it, let’s talk hurricanes. The people in New Jersey are still all jacked up from Hurricane Sandy — which they renamed Superstorm Sandy just so they wouldn’t look so puny after a Cat 1 tore them up. Not to make light of a storm that did cause deaths, but if Sandy had hit down here it would have just been an opportunity to buy a keg.
So I don’t want to hear any smack out of people who can’t handle 90 degrees or a 80 mph wind. The fact is we choose to live here so our favorite body parts don’t fall off while walking to work, and y’all choose to live up there because you don’t want to sweat while taking a shower. Or because you’re idiots.