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Snowy thoughts

Published February 27. 2010 09:00AM

As I'm writing this, it is snowing outside. The prediction is for another 8-12 inches on top of the last 12 inches we had in Effort.

I get a kick out of listening to people when there is a prediction of snow. It seems to send everyone into a tizzy.

Here are some of my skewered musings on human behavior when it begins to snow.


I'm not one of those people who panics, races to the grocery store and buys enough to see me through until the spring thaw.

In my experience, I have never been snowed in yet that I started looking at the cat and wondering how she would taste chicken fried.

Harry has a 4 wheel drive truck with a plow, so I think Tinkerbell is safe.

So it really makes me laugh when I see television news visiting grocery stores and reporting long lines of people who feel they just have to stock up.

I call this Snowstormitis. It appears to be a form of a fever that strikes people upon the news of an impending snowfall.

One report said the most bought items before a snow storm are milk, bread and bananas.

I did a little research on why people feel they need milk and bread and what I learned is-no one really knows.

Craig Robertson, chairman of the University of Alabama's Department of Sociology, said tradition might play a role in the milk-and-bread rush. Milk and bread were among staples in our parents' and grandparents' kitchens and he thinks they rushed out to buy those two items, so we do, too.

Robertson suggests when we feel threatened (being snowed in) we tend to resort to a primal state of making sure our basic needs are met.

"We've been taught that when things are at their worst, be sure to have milk in the refrigerator and bread on the table," he says.

Evidently we have a fear of being trapped, so we have to be able to sustain ourselves during a blizzard. We've got to know we have the staples, so a trip to the grocery store is absolutely essential to bring back a semblance of order to what is an uncertain time. We think: "Snow is coming. I'm not used to it and I've got to resume some semblance of order, so off to the grocery store I go."

As for bananas being the third most bought item? Not a clue. And since I hate bananas, I'm really clueless why someone would risk life or limb for one.

Other top items that purchased before a storm are: frozen pizzas, snacks and toilet paper.

Now we're talking.

These are definitely necessities in my book. Throw in a case of Coke and I'm ready for anything nature throws my way.

OK. Here's another snowstorm oddity that tickles my funny bone.

*The Snow Shovel Enigma

This morning one news report was visiting a hardware store and it was all sold out of snow shovels.

This is a mystery to me. We live in Pennsylvania. We get snow every year. We've already had three or four snowfalls this year. Who didn't have a snow shovel before, that all of sudden the stores are all sold out? What did they use last week to shovel their walks and driveways? Who's buying these snow shovels? Did a space ship of aliens land somewhere in the Poconos and they decided to buy snow shovels as souvenirs to take back to their home planet?

*The Sightings of USOs-Unusual Snow Outfits

Driving home from work one day after the last snowfall, I saw neighbors shoveling snow. The first one was a senior citizen, all bundled up and wearing a face mask (the kind used in hospitals.) His neighbor, much younger, was wearing a tank top, shorts and flip flops.

I laughed for the next five miles.

*The Phenomenon of the Vanishing Snowman

I don't know what this world is coming to. I think we have to add Snowmen to our list of endangered species.

In my day, it was a prerequisite that if it snowed, we built a snowman. Every home that had children living in it had a snowman in the yard. Sometimes three or four of them.

Now we drive miles and miles before we see one. And when one is sighted, it's so unusual that we take pictures of them and feature them in newspapers and local television news.

I have to go now. Harry is ready to take me to the store because I have this sudden urge to buy bananas and a snow shovel. Later, I think I'll build a snowman.

Until next time, I'd like to leave you with these words of snowy wisdom from Carl Reiner: "A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water."

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