Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Snow Laughing Matter

There are days that I think that people of this Region believe that global warming has already pushed Pittsburgh into a climate more akin to Atlanta, and therefore are in no need of any of the skills useful for driving in inclement Winter weather.

Today, of course, is one of those days. So, for those of you that think that have already stocked up on milk, bread, and toilet paper and obviously think that we're going to die, I'm going to offer you some advice:

Stay off the fucking road.

Seriously, people. I know that we're not in northern Manitoba where it thaws out sometime around July 3rd, but we are in northern region and we should be prepared to deal with winter weather appropriately.

For example: as an alternative to driving down a hill with your foot on the brake, why not slide the car into 2nd gear instead, using the mechanics of the car to control your speed?

Or, if you have a truck, SUV, or other behemoth that has four wheel drive, why don't you learn how to use it. Alternatively, if you have a truck, SUV, or other behemoth without 4 wheel drive, why don't you just leave your car in the garage and slowly kill yourself through carbon monoxide poisoning, as you are obviously a waste of skin and good sense. And just to give you the little extra oomph you're going to need: yes, the world knows that you have a small penis.

Additionally, you may become aware that your car may not be able to drive in quite the same manner as it would when it is 80 degrees and sunny out. This may mean that your Toyota Tercel may not be able to make it up many of the "horizontally challenged" street in the City quite so easily. This does not mean, however, that you should gun your engine, slide sideways, stall out, and drift backwards into oncoming traffic. That is something that PennDOT in its driver safety manual calls "a stupid ass thing to do."

As a courtesy measure, you should clean off the snow laden roofs of your vehicles. As much fun as it can be to pretend that you're outrunning the blizard in your rear view mirror, those drivers behind you (of various degrees of driving competency) may use the opportunity to playfully plow into your rear end or, and this is my personal favorite, bust out your tail lights with a five iron concealed under the floor mats in my back seat.

And, of course to those of you that live in or visit to Lawrenceville: if you ignore the chair and take the parking spot that I worked for 20 minutes to clear out, I will bust your skull in.


Goob said...

The hills sometimes change things.

I used to live over in Shadyside, near the bottom of Negley Hill. I have seen some strange things.

On a night some time ago, I witnessed a sedan come down the hill at a cautious speed for any reasonable conditions. Like this morning, the conditions were far from that. The car was perhaps a third of the way down when the driver attempted to brake, and sent the back end all squirrelly. I must give them credit: they did not panic. They began to brake with exquisite care, and managed to slow the car, although the braking was very gentle, and it wasn't at all clear that they were going to stop before the intersection at Fifth. It was going to be very close. I never found out the gender of the driver as I was walking down the hill that night, but I do know the gender of the passenger.

Because with about 100 feet to go, she started to scream.

It turned out okay; they stopped with a bumper just barely nosed out into Fifth, and Fifth was pretty much a two lane road that evening.

My partial point here is that (in addition to the above points, which are all very good) it is important to remember that no matter how studly one's four-wheel drive system is, it doesn't really do much for stopping. The useful bit for that is where the tires stick to the roadway. Or don't. I wish more people remembered that part.

EdHeath said...

Yesterday morning I saw aA Altima that had crashed into the wall of West Penn, opposite the parking garage on Millvale. From its position it is possible it came out of the parking gargage, gunned the engine and could not stop until forcilbly stopped. Alternatively the car could have been coming down Millvale and swerved to avoid someone coming out of the parking garage. Either way, it was a funny sight (especially because it wasn't me).