As I was chopping away at the muck on the sidewalk the other morning, it became clear to me why composers don't write songs about slush. It is miserable, annoying stuff. Slush is a byproduct of snowfall, as are ice, frozen gutters, dead car batteries and repetitious images of TV reporters shivering in the elements. Enough already!
I confess that I once held the poetic view of snowfall. I gushed about how it brightened the dreary winter landscape, freshened the air, brought out our inner child. My soul stirred at the poet's mention of "easy wind and downy flake." No more. I am so over that.
Last winter soured me. The hours of endless shoveling, followed by the incessant hacking of icicles off the gutters, crescendoed by the night an ice dam sent a stream of dirty water trickling into the bedroom, banished any picturesque notions of residing in a winter wonderland.
I am also skeptical of the much-proffered nostrum that a big snowfall brings out the best in us. Yes, I have participated in neighborhood shovel outs, when good citizens band together to clear alleys and streets. But after the initial glow of pride and lingering back pain subsided, my dominant feeling was that I never want to do that again.
So when last week's East Coast snowstorm (predictions for accumulation here dropped faster than the point spread on the Ravens game) ended up skirting the Baltimore area , I was delighted.
Reports of the ill-feelings that the snowstorm had stirred up in other cities had a familiar ring. Bostonians threatened to slash the tires of anyone who "stole" their shoveled-out parking spaces; Brooklynites complained that their neighborhoods have been neglected by city snow plows. New Jersey residents howled that both their governor and lieutenant governor were having fun in the sun — vacationing in Florida and Mexico — while the state was snowed in. Grandstanding Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, who has a chauffeur and recently admitted he has not driven in eight years, took a shot at the "wusses" who postponed an NFL football game in Philadelphia because of traffic safety worries.
These were not mankind's finest hours. The cause of all that carping and bad behavior: too many snowflakes. So as I watch the weather forecast, the song I am singing this winter is, "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow … elsewhere."
— Rob Kasper