Cliches: some accumulation is expected

March 09, 1994|By Laura Lippman

To: Mother Nature From: The Sun staff Re: Today's forecast

A winter storm watch for Western Maryland. Snow possible in Carroll and Frederick counties. Sleet mixed with rain in the metro area, just in time for morning rush hour. Talk about deja vu all over again.

Yes, we know that's a baseball cliche. That's all we have left after this winter. We surrender; we raise a white flag to the white stuff. All our rhetorical weapons are exhausted against your ceaseless barrage. (Have we used "barrage" to describe the weather yet? Yes, on Feb. 18.)

Cute puns? We ran out of them during that first ice storm, back in January. Metaphors? They went faster than toilet paper and milk at Giant, another weather-writing staple.

This year, we added a twist, calling local video stores and checking out every cinematic cliche we could carry, from "The Big Chill" to "Chilly Scenes of Winter."

Even our stockpile of literary allusions has dwindled away, just like those salt supplies in Baltimore County. Another storm and we'll have to cut them with sand, cinders and stone dust.

Winter of our discontent? Been there, said that. Iceman cometh? At least twiceth. We walked in a winter wonderland so many times we started slip-slidin' away. Paul Simon is suing us for royalties.

We have compared the ice to an unwelcome Christmas gift, the slush to a Slurpee, and the freakish weather of Jan. 28 -- ice, fog, rain, snow -- to the old "Ed Sullivan Show." Snow and sleet have blanketed, dumped and heaped themselves on the area, but seldom fallen.

VTC Our prose overkill has included the following choices, in alphabetical order: Armageddon, bitter, crippling, dangerous, eerie, frigid, harrowing, messy, relentless, treacherous, upbeat, wacko. We're still working on q and x.

How bad is it? Let's put it this way: Jacqueline F. McLean, on leave from her comptroller's job for a lot of things that have nothing to do with precipitation, once noted she had knocked Bosnia, health care reform, the economy and President Clinton off the front page.

For the record, she has been on the front page 16 times since Nov. 1; Maryland weather has been 1A news 50 times.

March started with cold, followed by another ice storm.

We could have called it a one-two punch, but we already did, back in January.

So we mentioned its resemblance to a certain jungle animal, the one with the mane.

So you see, things are pretty desperate here at 501 N. Calvert Street. Supplies are low. Send help. Send spring by March 20, or we're trotting out that lamb.

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