Snow People should chill out

Kevin Cowherd

January 18, 1993|By Kevin Cowherd

Winter is a dreary time of year, and what makes it even drearier is the emergence of the Snow People.

The Snow People are those irritating men and women who, instead of loathing snow and feeling skittish around it like decent, God-fearing people, actually pray for the stuff to fall out of the sky.

Displaying incredible selfishness, they pray for snow so they can break out their 2-cycle Sears Craftsman snow blowers and Arctic Cat snowmobiles and heavy-duty Chevy Blazers with studded tires, snowplows and four-wheel drive.

Or they pray for snow so they can strap the Olins to the roof rack and go skiing -- their idea of a good time being an afternoon on some frozen mountaintop with the wind chill factor at 30 below and the beginnings of hypothermia settling into their bodies.

OK, I know what you're thinking.

You're thinking: What the devil is wrong with these people?

Is it a misfiring of certain neurons in the brain? A complete shutdown of the cerebral cortex?

Or is it a severe personality disorder that manifests itself only in the dead of winter, when any normal person would be sitting near the fire banging back hot toddies and watching "Wheel of Fortune?"

Who knows? Honestly, your guess is as good as mine.

Not to put too fine a point on this, but my philosophy on snow jibes with the philosophy of most clear-thinking Americans: If I never saw the stuff again, that would be fine with me.

To me, snow means cars skidding wildly into telephone poles, permanent lower back problems from shoveling slushy driveways, no school and a houseful of young kids jacked up on Ovaltine and peanut butter sandwiches screaming: "PLAY THE CAPTAIN HOOK VIDEO AGAIN!"

Hoo, boy. Just thinking about it makes the balls of my feet sweat.

Of all the Snow People, surely skiers are the most annoying sub-species.

My vision of hell used to center around golfers. I envisioned hell as a lot of beefy guys in lime-green pants and canary-yellow polo shirts standing amid the eternal flames talking about weight transference and club selection and the best approach to a dogleg left.

Now I may have to amend that.

Now I see hell as a fiery pit where golfers and skiers mingle freely with the likes of Elvis impersonators, mimes and accordion players -- although it must be the skiers who absorb most of the derision with their $400 Gore-tex jumpsuits and mirrored Vuarnet shades.

I don't know if you've ever been around a bunch of skiers at, say, a cocktail party. But the experience is unforgettable.

Within seconds of hearing them discuss the latest ski equipment or conditions at area resorts, your eyes will begin to grow heavy.

One time I actually fell asleep during a heated argument about the best brand of racing boots. The last words I remember hearing were "a 30-inch base with six inches of fresh powder."

When I awoke a couple of hours later, I found myself face-down in the onion dip.

Unfortunately, the skiers were still sitting there, swilling Evian and talking about the hot new brand of bump skis.

This caused me to doze off a second time until about 2 in the morning, when I awoke to find somebody running a vacuum cleaner over my feet.

It's for this reason that I'm constantly urging people: Never, ever, get behind the wheel of a car with a skier as a passenger.

Still, can there be anyone more annoying than the guy who just bought his very first snow blower?

I used to have a neighbor who fell into this category. Early each winter morning, he'd -- out of his house and squint up at the sky and say: "Yep, looks like snow."

As the day worn on and the snow failed to materialize, this nut would lapse into a deep depression.

When it finally did snow, he'd scamper to the tool shed like a toy poodle on Benzedrine. The next sound you'd hear would be the 4 1/2-horsepower engine of his snow blower roaring to life. Then for the next hour or so you'd see him happily clearing his sidewalk and driveway, the snow spraying everywhere and a big smile plastered on his face.

God, he was annoying! Just once you'd think he'd offer to clear my driveway.

But I guess neighbors helping neighbors is an old-fashioned concept these days.

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