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Acute brain-freeze

Cow Hampshire (and, I guess, a couple other states in New England) are currently gripped in the throes of a particularly nasty ice storm (that's when it takes turns snowing, raining, sleeting, and doing whatever the hell else it wants to.

Just how bad is the storm out there?

* My normal half-hour commute took almost 90 minutes.

* I never got above 30 miles an hour on the highway.

* I saw several vehicles off the road.

* I saw an ambulance fishtail and nearly go off the road.

* I saw firefighters make a grocery-store run in a Haz-Mat truck.

* The guy next door is replacing his SUV's snow tires with skates.

It was so bad on I-93, for once in my life I picked up a hitchhiker.

The hitchhiker turned out to be penguin in a parka. He hopped in and buckled up.

"Thanks, man. It's nasty out there."

"No problem," I answered. Where you heading?"

"Manchester. I hear there's a couple ice rinks up there, figured I could get work as a mascot."

"Yeah, I could drop you off at the JFK one. It's not that far out of my way."

"Cool. No pun intended."

"So, what's your name?"


I cocked an eyebrow. "Percy the parka-wearing penguin?"

He glared at me with his beady little eyes. "Don't get me started. My parents loved alliteration. You should see our therapy bills."

"'Our' therapy bills?"

Yeah, all us kids. Me, Peter, Perry, Penny, Polly, and Potter."


"Yeah, they got a little desperate at the end of the clutch."

We sat in silence for a moment. I figured I'd start a conversation. "So, cold enough for you?"

I got another glare. "Yeah, that's the first time I've heard THAT one. Those people who say global warming's for the birds? Can't come soon enough for THIS bird."

The silence resumed.

A couple minutes later, he leaned forward and switched the heater to the air conditioning.

I protested. "Hey, what the hell are you doing?"

"I'm dying here. I'm wearing the equivalent of two down parkas over here, and one of 'em don't come off. Cut me some slack, will ya?"

We compromised -- I zipped up my coat, he unzipped his, and the temperature control went to the center.

"Whoa, check that out -- that ambulance almost went off the road!"

"Relax, Percy. I'm keeping plenty of distance, and going nowhere near as fast. Besides, those things are pigs in snow -- big, heavy, tall, and rear-wheel drive."

Finally, we got to Manchester. I was going to leave him at the JFK Coliseum, but it was closed for the weather. I felt bad for him, so I offered to let him crash at my place.

Percy's currently curled up in my freezer, eating the frozen fish fillets in there. He's grousing about the garlic, though.

There's no pleasing some flightless fowl.



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Comments (25)

Here in Oregon today, it wa... (Below threshold)

Here in Oregon today, it was clear, not a cloud in the sky, and the high temperature was near 70.

Phoenix/Tempe is wonderful ... (Below threshold)

Phoenix/Tempe is wonderful around 72, hardly a cloud in the sky....the only thing that sucked is being too damn close to Sky Harbor Airport.

Thanks for the perfectly pr... (Below threshold)

Thanks for the perfectly preposterous penguin parody.

Jay Tea needs a day off. D... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea needs a day off. Do you think that we can get Epstein's Mother to write a note?

How come you can't work at ... (Below threshold)

How come you can't work at home on a day like today?

Hmmmm, I have fond memories... (Below threshold)

Hmmmm, I have fond memories of ice storms, having grown up in Connecticut. I'm tempted to join kgowen in gloating - it WAS absolutely lovely here in Portland (the Western one) today. But I'll refrain.

Thanks for the cautionary tale ... I'll be sure to refrain from providing portage to those preposterously picky penguins.

How dare he grouse when he'... (Below threshold)

How dare he grouse when he's robin your freezer. He must be in a fowl mood.

We had a cold front blow in... (Below threshold)

We had a cold front blow in here last night, the low dropped to 71. BRRRRRR! Only 84 for the high. Nice breeze off the clear blue water, coco palms swaying in the breeze, white sand. I may have to get a sheet out to sleep under tonight.

You people up north are jus... (Below threshold)

You people up north are just insane.

It was 74 today. Beautiful.....come on down!

Is this story true?... (Below threshold)

Is this story true?

My story of the same ice/sn... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

My story of the same ice/snow/sleet storm just an hour or so further north is exactly why we opted to ditch our van and buy the 4 wheel drive SUV.

We live on a great big hill.

My dh helped push four cars/vans up the hill today, that doesn't include the ambulance that got stuck and had to call for the state to pull him out.

My kids are hoping for another "no school" day tomorrow, we will see.

They're only flightless if ... (Below threshold)

They're only flightless if you don't have a catapult handy.

I drove to work today with ... (Below threshold)

I drove to work today with the top down, wearing a T-shirt and jeans, with the heater was turned off. Life is good out here on the left coast. It's why we enjoy higher rents.

Kevin I'm in Milford and it... (Below threshold)

Kevin I'm in Milford and it is brutal outside tonight. It came so suddenly too. Surprised we still have power...

you northronz are chumps- i... (Below threshold)

you northronz are chumps- it was 88 degrees in FL today

I play the world's smallest violin for you

Three hours to get home to ... (Below threshold)

Three hours to get home to Western MA

Send Percy down here to Geo... (Below threshold)

Send Percy down here to Georgia. I hear penguins taste just like possum.

Uh, Jay? What have you been... (Below threshold)

Uh, Jay? What have you been drinking, big guy, and where can I get some of it?

In San Diego, I experience ... (Below threshold)

In San Diego, I experience all that was described in my daily commute. the fact that it is not snowing does not negate the rest of the hassles.


It's a lot worse now - can'... (Below threshold)

It's a lot worse now - can't go out at all. I have a brand new llama baby I gave birth to a week ago - I didn't have it - the llama did but he was soooo big she needed lots of help. It's weather like this that can kill anyone of them, especially the week old baby who has on two jackets, zipped up barn for the most part and a heater in there and still I can't go to sleep worrying about him. He's so beautiful and my third, so very special since his father died suddenly (my main herdshire)in July. It has been horrible here, pure white out conditions and if this wind keeps up,my house my blow away. And they haven't gotten to my street yet, it's really bad.

Pray for my llamas.

Pray for the baby, too.


We are in a complete white ... (Below threshold)

We are in a complete white out on the ME seacoast. I actually could not see the car parked in the driveway 25 ft away With winds at 50mph & snow (knock on wood) thank God we have not lost power.

Someone dropped a Superior ... (Below threshold)

Someone dropped a Superior beer bottle cap on the path from my front door to the beach and it's pointy side up so I know all about the tough commute thing. I sure hope the groundskeeper picks it up in the morning. Looks like ti's going to be another cold night here again, but not quite as cold as last night. I just checked the thermometer and it's down to 76. I'll be glad when winter is over with, I just don't know how much more I can take.

Bullwinkle:Shut up... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:


Shut up, Senator Kennedy.


Cindy, You are an amazing h... (Below threshold)

Cindy, You are an amazing hardy woman. I read your post like I read fiction. I can't imagine.

God, I am such a spoiled little princess.

I will pray for your animals and I hope the weather gets better. I don't have to tell you to stay strong, I know you will.


Percy seems a bit peckish. ... (Below threshold)
Kaptain Krude:

Percy seems a bit peckish. Perhaps you should have picked up his cousin Opus, on the paternal side. Opus has a few hang-ups, like always looking for his mother, and dragging this gross cat along who is always coughing up hairballs, but he's pretty good company.






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