The Great Colorado Blizzard 2009

Colorado weather has never impressed me. The current “blizzard” is no exception. The only danger during a Colorado Blizzard is the Coloradoan itself. Granted, the homeless population suffers and the wind chill and wet wind are a danger to them. God bless each of them as they endure this bitter weather.

Coloradoans are an odd breed. This “blizzard” has crippled the town. The streets are an icy morass, prismatic if not captivatingly crystalline in places and threateningly obsidian in others. The dastardly Coloradoan will not lay salt – “Oh God! The Environment,” they shriek even as they power up their diesel trucks, crank up their wood-burning pellet stoves and throw out another plastic Aquafina water bottle.

My Dad called the house yesterday and asked how the roads were. They were clear when I went out earlier in the day. By the time that he ventured homeward, they were a snarled mess of SUV carcasses and tow trucks. Were the roads that bad? Yes (thanks to the lack of salt combined with the idiocy of the typical Colorado transplant from California.) Dad made it safely home by doing a steady 20 mph. Dad is a native New Yorker wizened by his time driving in New York City.

My sojourn began when I noticed a few grains of snow. Yes, grains. Colorado has a variety of Snow Types. I left the house and found myself jostled among the panicked human herd.

Kmart was fairly empty but the supermarket, Safeway, was a nightmare. People were packed like sardines, jockeying at the check stands. Two sagging granolas tangled with a granny; Ensure cans clanged against the shopping cart rails and Kashi Go-Lean spilled onto the floor. People were churlish as they surveyed the quickly falling snow. Gazelles at a water hole waiting for a lion’s pounce could not have done a better job at conveying the level of anxiety exuding from these foolish Coloradoans.

Excuse me, but who in the hell shops moments before a blizzard?

Had this been Back East instead of The Land of Zero Oxygen, things would have been more civil. People would have checked their pantries five days ago (when the potential blizzard threat was broadcast). Any shopping today would be for last minute essentials, such as a dozen eggs or perhaps some fresh bread. It would certainly be orderly.

I walked to the car and chanted my now-too-familiar mantra: God get me out of this shithole and into a civilized place. God get me back to culture.

It’s a good mantra. It’s a variation of my old Colorado mantra. The new one simply adds “back” to it. It’s not a very clever mantra, but it wouldn’t do to walk through a snow-infested parking lot chanting “F____ Colorado and F_____ the people and their fake lives.” Of course, that’s a back up mantra and I do sometimes chant it when I drive.

Road rage. I have not lost my temper while driving in major cities back east. I lost my temper driving here on the very first day. I felt it was justified that I cuss out the ugly diesel truck with it’s dangling plastic scrotum (it’s a Colorado thang) as the driver, bereft of oxygen, was too stupid to hang up his phone and stay in his own lane. He would have ploughed into me had I not honked. He chose to give me the finger instead. I held my tongue. The poor SOB would have to go home and tell his wife some bi-polar disabled chick beat the crap out of him with his own arm, otherwise.

There are two types of people in Colorado: native and transplant. The native Coloradoans are a decent sort, very down to earth. Their families have lived here for at least three generations. They can drive in snow. The transplants are either military, Opportunists, or “needs must”. Of those three, only the opportunists give Colorado Springs and Denver a bad name. They comprise the largest portion of asshole motorists on the road; they are responsible for the ersatz eclectic feel that permeates the area like the stench of a rotting cat carcass accidentally left under an ex-girlfriend’s bed. They are as intelligent as primordial paramecium turds (think about it.) They are from CA and TX and they’ve come here because they can’t hack it in CA and TX. They came here to “be somebody” and we, the visitors and soldiers and “needs must” people, are forced to put up with them. The nature is irrefutably dazzling; the Opportunists occlude it.

Poor Dick’s coffeeshop was once a cool place to hang out. Someone once scrawled, “where will you be when the bomb drops” on the restroom wall there. I scrawled underneath it, “In NORAD’s shadow.” I would like to recant my graffiti response. I meant to say, “Trapped on Powers during a snow flurry, neck to neck with shitheads.”

“Aut, what were you doing out? You’re harping on them doing last minute shopping!”

I ran a quick errand. These people were buying enough food to last them a month. They were grabbing anything they could get their hands on and chucking it into a cart. Surely one person does not need 10 packs of hamburger buns and five bottles of ketchup!

My errand, by the way, was for “must haves” on the off chance of an early arrival of the Evil Red Dragon. I added ginger ale to the mix simply because I was shopping anyway. I was not trying to clobber a Boy Scout with a baguette, shove the cashier, nor whine that I simply had to be at the front of the line because my toddler was still in the car.

That wasn’t an exaggeration. The Opportunists were in rare form – they were displaying their true behavioral patterns. God bless that wretched Boy Scout.

I walked out of the grocery store and visited Walgreens instead. Customers in the line ahead of me were already commenting on what they had seen at the grocery store. Madness. Utter madness.

The natives and other people have been delightful to be around.

Ox emailed this morning to tell me that a mutual friend and fellow Buckeye, Ian, was in Denver for a wedding. Honey, I hope that the Denverites are behaving in a more civilized manner (they usually do.) He had better snowfall than we.




Snow in the screen.


The wind packed snow between screen and door.


Alas, poor fountain…


Brrrrrr. Black ice on the street but not much powder accumulation.


The back door is now frosted. Rather pretty!

1 responded with...:

Roadchick said...

I learned to drive in the snow, just south of Chicago.

I now live in Tennessee.

I try to stay home when it snows here because while my driving is just fine (and we never get that much snow anyway), the other fools have nearly ended my life for me on more than one occasion. It is not worth it.

Ditto on going to the store. They sound the Kroger Alert and all hell breaks loose. I figure if it's really that bad, I can walk to the gas station and live on beef jerky and Budweiser.

Hope you get to go home soon!