February 17, 2003
Storm of the Few Years, Part I: Snow, Y'all. (On the Ground in the Garden State)

As you may not be aware, since the New York area is typically under-reported by the news media, we've had some snow here. Below lies the tale of my encounter with the storm...

The storm's involvement in my life basically started last Friday. The Rutgers ultimate team was planning to attend a tournament on the weekend at North Carolina State University. Many pessimists and meteorologists felt that committing to the 9 hour drive to Raleigh wasn't worth the risk of arriving to discover that the tournament had been cancelled. With a loud, "Sucks to you!" we set off at 4:00 pm.

Smugly, we checked into our hotel 9 hours later not even dampened by rain. The weather was great (by my standards - about 15 degrees, overcast, slight wind) all day Saturday. After our last game the tournament director came over to tell us that some of the teams were pulling out of the Sunday games and running home to their sissy Southern schools. He said he would get together with the team captains and let all the teams left decide how they wanted to play the next day, and that all would be revealed at the party that night.

By 9:00 pm the Sunday games had been cancelled due to the convincing evidence that the meteorologists were piling up in the East. New plan: go to the party, since reliable sources purported that all the men's teams except NC State and Rutgers were already heading home but the women's teams from both NC State and William and Mary University would be there, then depart at 6:00 am on Sunday.

New plan: leave the party right now (1:30 am), go back to the hotel and get the hell back to New Jersey while the getting the hell back was good (stopping to leave notes under the WM hotel-room doors inviting them to stop by Rutgers anytime).

For anyone who recalls Gene Hackman's line in The Birdcage about driving from Washington DC to Florida, watching the seasons change state by state, the drive home was pretty much like that, providing your seasons are:
freezing rain
lots of snow

Highlights of the trip include:
Virginia: Stopping every few miles to chip the ice of the windshield, the windshield wipers, and the headlights.

DC: Snow takes over as precipitation of choice. Lobbyists push for imported sleet. From this point on, (now that the sun is up), we can see cars littering the nation's ditches. Seriously, these people have no idea how to drive on snow; the highways were being plowed and were no worse than the Sea-to-Sky highway on a bad day, and yet we say the car in front of us go into a skid, slalom back and forth across all four lanes of the I-95 making no attempt to slow down. This was accomplished at about 40 km/h. And yet, in the tunnel from DC to Baltimore, we were stuck behind a car whose driver had trouble telling the difference between being on a snowy highway, and being in a tunnel; as a precaution, he drove 45 km/h just in case.

Maryland: We stopped at a Waffle House near Baltimore, Maryland for a touch of Southern hospitality. Say what you will about the South (where the South includes all Waffle Houses, everywhere), they are eerily friendly.

Delaware: Too small to notice.

New Jersey: Somehow, despite the fact that the highway has been relatively traffic-free (ie only two lanes full) the whole way from North Carolina, the New Jersey Turnpike has managed to maintain its default state of traffic-jam.

Halfway up the Turnpike, at about 2:00 pm, we finally pass out of the storm and onto totally clear (of snow) roads.

"Well," I said to myself, "I guess that's the last I'll be seeing of that snow-storm. I'm sure it won't continue up the state and dump snow all over Rutgers resulting in the University, the buses, and the whole town being totally shut down."*

*Foreshadowing. See Part II, forthcoming.

Posted: February 17, 2003 05:16 PM
by: on February 17, 2003 06:27 PM:

please tell me you didn’t have adequare food stocks and that you had to resort to eating coworkers and/or roommates. please.

in all the years that i’ve lived with you, tim, i’ve always been disappointed by the fact that you never ate anybody, even when you were really hungry.

by: on February 17, 2003 08:58 PM:

a licky boom boom down …

by: on February 25, 2003 03:58 AM:

…ok, so you left the tournament to be possibly stranded with 2 girls teams…. why was that exactly? …

in 30 words or less, please clarify.


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