Dazed and confused? Not me. I’m just Lost in the Cheese Aisle.

Monday, January 6, 2014


“When in danger or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.” - Herman Wouk

It’s going to get really, really cold here tonight... maybe not by Antarctic standards, but certainly according to the norms of the region.

Five degrees Fahrenheit is pretty damned cold, especially for Georgia. We don’t see single-digit temperatures here all that often - maybe once every decade or so. But as it happens, five degrees is not much different from the weather we experienced in New York a few days ago, except up there the subfreezing temperatures were accompanied by a full-blown blizzard that dropped close to a foot of snow on much of Long Island. Yeef.

Instagram Snowdrift
A wind-sculpted post-blizzard snowdrift.

That Arctic blast was pretty much the only thing the media were talking about for two days - not much different from the way they do things Down South - except that in New York and its surroundings the local infrastructure is actually geared up to deal with a dozen inches of snow. Here, all they can do is sand a few overpasses and hope everyone stays home.

Before that storm hit Thursday evening, we stopped by a local market to pick up a few necessities. Bread and milk - the usual suspects - were not on our list. It always fascinates me how bread and milk are pushed to the top of everyone’s Emergency Preparedness Rations list. When did carbs ’n’ casein become the mandated Go-To foods after the Snowpocalypse? People actually panic if their local stoopidmarket runs low on their Butter Conveyance Device inventory, as though there is nothing else available to eat during a snowstorm. It’s almost as bad as Christmas shoppers coming to blows over Tickle Me Elmo, this desperation to grab hold of a gallon of two-percent and ten loaves of Pepperidge Farm Honey Wheat.

[People also panic if supplies of toilet paper are thin on the ground before a big storm. This is a perfectly understandable concern: Nobody wants to be reduced to tearing pages out of their old telephone books (remember them?) when the household’s stash of bunwad runs dry, and the option of using wet washcloths is simply revolting. In such cases, conservation is the order of the day. We were blessed with adequate supplies, so we did not go into Tee-Pee Panic Mode.]

As for us, with our basket of goodies we were prepared to weather a lengthy stay indoors. Hot chocolate, roast chicken, peanut butter, various chunks of cheese, plenty of fruit and Greek yogurt, a bag of bagels, and an assortment of smoked fish... and the remnants of a (mostly unconsumed) handle of Scotch whisky should things get really desperate.

As it turns out, the great northeastern blizzard - Winter Storm Hercules, they called it - was mostly an overnight affair, and by mid-day Friday it was perfectly feasible to dig ourselves out and use the still-mostly-untraveled roads to pay a visit to Eli, Hizzownself at the Veterans Home. And by the time we headed home on Sunday, all we had to deal with were the normal mobs of frantic travelers at the tail end of Holiday Season.

When you’re prepared, there’s never any need to panic. The running in circles thing, though? That’s kinda fun.



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