Brown Barrel: Snow Emergency

The worst of the winter may be over, but the memory of it lingers in the form of icy mounds that force us to only cross the street at intersections. As the world lightens by fractions and the frost gives way to spring, let’s give one more thought to the hardships of the dark season, hardships for those who live in cities and hardships for those who run them.

Apathetic Snow Emergency Response Protocol


Level 1 Snow Emergency Response

It is but snow. Yes, it will cover the whole ground and it will lie there and we will call it “inconvenient,” but the snow is only really inconvenient because we so insist on doing things all the time. If we were content to do nothing one day, perhaps then we would look outside and snow would just be snow.

Level 2 Snow Emergency Response
Dispatch the plows? I agree, that does seem like a phrase that ought to be in a snow emergency protocol. But I ask you: what would come of it? The plows will turn the streets into sludge and the melting will turn them into rivers and no one, no one will be happier for it. And scatter salt on the ground to melt the ice, you say? Then we would walk on salty grit the whole day long! Our shoes would track it into the hallways and the stairwells. The grit would get in our carpets, like sand, in our hair, our food. All these complications, impossible to make head or tail of any of them. Probably better to sit here. Better to do nothing. The storm can’t get more severe than a level 2.

Level 3 Snow Emergency Response
Ah, so it got more severe than a level 2. Should have seen this coming. People are snowed in? The ice is slick and treacherous, you say? The economy has ground to a halt and people have no safe way of traveling? And emergency vehicles, too? Dear me. Yes, yes, you’re very right, that does all sound like terrible stuff. It’s bad, but is it irreparably bad? It is? Hm. Well. Then I suppose there’s nothing we can do. Best to just sit here and do nothing, just like I was saying all along. Just like I knew we should in the first place! Pass me the wine.

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