Saturday, February 27, 2010

Snow Storms and Trips

Today I was out in the lousy weather running errands and generally trying to make someone else's life a little easier.  Ain't I a great person?  Don't I got class?  I'm told that running around in weather like this builds character.  If that's true, I have accumulated a year's supply in one afternoon.  I'll have to warehouse some of it.

This snowstorm is getting set to hammer us with six inches of snow overnight, and there's the promise of more on Saturday.  Guess who doesn't own a snow blower.  I think I'll pour a snort and take a trip down memory lane, otherwise known as bad news alley.

Three years ago today a company in Madison, Wisconsin expressed a very tentative interest in a man of my considerable talents, so I flipped a two headed quarter and decided to give them a chance.  Besides, I was between migraines and my bank account was tanking as fast as the real estate market.  I packed my bag and put my nose into the setting sun, heading for a bright new future.  I hoped.

At that time my younger brother, Shotgun Bob, was living it up in Eau Claire, Wisconsin which is about three hours Northwest of Madison.  I called Bob and told him I was headed for Madison on a job interview, and he told me to come on up to Eau Claire for a little vacation.  I could stay at his place and we'd open a brand new bottle of Beefeaters gin, Bob would buy me dinner at Houligans restaurant and we'd generally live it up a little.  Since Houligans is one of the select few restaurants worth traveling across the country to patronize, I didn't hesitate in accepting his kind offer.

My trip out was uneventful, and the interview was a success.  Around 2:00 PM the director of I.S. told me that a near fatal snow storm was on the way, and if I wanted to get out of town I should leave now, right now, without fooling around.  He sounded serious, so I put it on the street and called Bob to beg off.

"What the Hell for?"  Bob wanted to know.  I explained about the snow storm and good old Shotgun Bob blew my concerns right off.  "Storm?  What storm?  They'll only get an inch or two, and anyway it's going to miss us up here in Eau Claire.  Come on up!"

I needed some convincing.  Not to put too fine a point on things, but my brother has been known to be overly optimistic on occasion.  Some have called him short sighted.  Then there was that business with the white gas and the campfire.

"You sure it'll miss Eau Claire?"  I really wanted to get up to Eau Claire, you see.

"Sure.  Absolutely!  I've been watching and it'll hit 'way East of us."  Bob was full of confidence, which was not unusual.

"Okay.  I'm making a U-turn and heading for Eau Claire.  See you in a few hours."  And so I did.

The short of it was that we had a great evening.  We had a drink or two, then went over to Houligans for a five star gourmet meal.  I ordered the Irish Whiskey Tenderloin Tips which is a signature dish at Houligans, and naturally we had to order desert.

We ran into people at the bar that were friendly and one little bar maid thought I was cute.  Another waitress, a real hottie, thought Bob was cute but we were on our way out and I think Bob failed to notice.  I did observe that a little snow was falling, just kind of a light powder, and I recall making a joke about the snow storm everyone was worried about.

Foolish me.

Here's what my car looked like when I got up the next morning.

I didn't even bother brushing it off or trying to drive out.  The roads were as bad as my car looked, so I remained in Eau Claire at Bob's, watched a movie or two and generally relaxed until evening, whereupon we went out again and had a good time at Houligans.  Bob drove, his truck having stayed in the garage all day.

The following day I got my car cleaned off, threw my bag in the trunk and headed East for the Glass City.  The streets were bad in Eau Claire, but surely the State government of Wisconsin would have the highways cleared by now - or is that the Federal government that is supposed to handle that?  The highway didn't look so good to me.

Well, I thought, maybe it's just the city of Eau Claire not doing the job.  I continued to drive out of town in the face of opposition.

Clearly I needed some convincing to turn back.  I was making about 35 on the highway, less on patches of ice.  Then I passed this little mishap.

Perhaps this truck driver's misfortune was caused by a momentary lapse in concentration.  Maybe it was just bad judgment, or maybe a stupid motorist cut the trucker off and he swerved to avoid killing a family of five... okay, maybe he was really dumb, like me, and decided that the roads would get better later on.

I went back to Shotgun Bob's house and waited another day.

1 comment:

historymike said...

I am the opposite - I have to scrape every speck of snow off my car before driving it.