The Sahara Desert was recently covered in fifteen inches of snow, a fact that to some people was about as likely as pop singers writing their own music. I’ve thought a lot about desert snow in the past several seconds, and it got me thinking about people who may not be as well acquainted with snow as I am. I’ve seen a lot of snow, and I’ve shoveled a lot of snow. Therefore, I’m an expert in the eyes of the internet, so no further validation is required.
We treat snow a little differently here in Pennsylvania than the southern states. In Alabama, for example, if someone even hears the word “snow”, they cancel school for several weeks. If it actually snows, the entire population moves into bomb shelters for the next five years. I joke, of course. They only stay there for two and a half years.
Up here, the main issue with snow is its pesky habit of getting on the roads. Well, we have ways of dealing with snow on our roads: snow trucks. These are hulking truck-like contraptions that look like something a toddler would create if you gave him a truck, a shovel, and a lot of rubber cement.
These mechanical giants patrol the roads with their snowplows, which are the same size as a grocery store, clearing massive amounts of snow from the roads, while dumping tons sand on it for good measure.
Why sand, you ask? As we all know, taking your car to the beach is great for your vehicle (especially if you drive your car into the ocean), so we’ve taken part of the ocean to our non-coastal paradise to help simulate a beach, except without the ocean, the pleasant temperature, and the general happiness beaches bring. Come to think of it, it’s kind of like that hollow feeling you get when someone else shows you pictures of their extravagant vacation, except even less emotionally fulfilling.
The more perceptive among you might be thinking, “Wait, did he say something about driving a car into the ocean?” Some of you might also be thinking, “That’s stupid. You would never drive your car into the ocean even a little bit. You’d get salt all over your car and it would rust.”
Well, you’re absolutely right. Which is why when it’s icy, our snow trucks dump an ocean’s worth of salt onto the roads. Sure, it rusts the bottom of your car out after two hours, but it does melt the ice, and it’s a lot cheaper than letting volunteers melt it with flamethrowers, albeit less entertaining. Plus, the salt completes the beach simulation: the snow becomes salt water, and then we dump sand on it. The point is, without the snow trucks, people would actually have to use caution while driving.
Though I praise these snow plows, understand that if you see one get stuck in the snow, you should immediately jump out of your car and run into the woods. If a snow truck gets stuck, it means the earth requires a sacrifice of several thousand vehicles to appease it. Best not to be in your car when that happens. And it will happen. I read that on a blog somewhere.
Now that you know the roads aren’t anything to worry about, you still need to worry about keeping your car free of ice and snow. If you don’t have a garage, about three inches of ice will encapsulate your car every night, making it look like an amateur ice sculpture that was made by a blindfolded orangutan.
Fortunately, there’s an easy fix. Simply get up at about 2am and use a scraper. Sure, you’ll be sleep deprived, but your car will be clear of ice, you’ll get a rigorous arm workout, and you’ll be energized enough to work on getting all the snow off your driveway.
Depending on the size of your driveway, you can use a shovel, a snow blower, a pickup truck with a snow plow, or a flamethrower. If your driveway is over three feet long, I’d advise using a snow blower.
With that snow blower you’ll get your driveway clear just in time for a snow truck to go down your road and throw eight feet of snow at the foot of your driveway. Your kids will use the pile as a snow fort and actually enjoy life for a bit. When you clear it so you can go to work, your kids will hate you forever, and your boss will yell at you for being late.
All that advice out of the way, I should point out that if you live in northern Pennsylvania, i.e., Erie, none of this information will help you. In Erie, they have something called “lake effect snow”, which is a highly technical term for “every time it snows we get eight feet of it”. In those cases, the best thing to do is live somewhere else, preferably Florida.