Thursday, February 11, 2010

things I learned on my snowcation*

Q. Why is Washington, D.C., still functionally shut down 24 hours after a mere 18 inches of snow fell?

A. The local municipalities stopped plowing the roads, having determined that wind and snow are hazardous to snowplows. All-wheel drive snowplows. With snow tires. Also, they have plows on the front of them. Because they're snowplows. But, I repeat, they cannot be driven in the snow.

Q. How many times in a single day can a person listen to "eBay," Weird Al Yankovic's parody of the Backstreet Boys tune "I Want It That Way"?

A. No such limit exists. Also, the song never loses its charm.

Q. I've only listened to "eBay" once today. What should I do?

A. Listen to it again, immediately. For recommended dosing, alternate it with "Spam," "White and Nerdy," and "A Complicated Song," as tolerated. All told, you must listen to "eBay" at least nine more times before going to bed, for best results.

Q. What happens after you eat almost exclusively mozzarella string cheese and buttered bread for several straight days?

A. You develop an increased appetite for fruit juice and raisin bran, which fortunately are also on the list of approved foods you have collected in large amounts. Also, you listen to the first verse of Weird Al Yankovic's "Complicated Song," a parody of Avril Lavigne's "Complicated," with greater attention than previously. Of course, his version has much more creative lyrics.

Q. Do I detect a theme here?

A. That is entirely possible.

Q. Why are single people living in cities lonely?

A. Because they fail to appreciate the value of community and interdependence. For example, single men living in cities have few opportunities to demonstrate their manliness and their value to the broader community, other than by developing large biceps and buying cars with poor fuel economy. In many cases, their female friends do the same jobs they do, but better, or even make more money than they do. During a snowstorm, however, they have an opportunity to demonstrate their courage, resilience, and superior physical strength by going to the homes of their female acquaintance, unasked, and shoveling out their cars and driveways. This would impress said friends with the single men's manliness and also generous spirit, and couldn't possibly be bad for their lifetime chances of mating. Instead, they are sitting home watching Battlestar Galactica. Anthropologists have determined conclusively that these men will die alone. The corresponding women, by contrast, will starve to death in their homes some time before the end of February, because they were too proud to call and ask anyone to shovel for them, or even to bring them shovels or food.

Q. Why hasn't there been a terrorist attack on American soil during a virtually total shutdown of the headquarters of the federal government?

A. Because al Qaeda is even less resilient in snowy conditions than Washington, D.C.'s snowplow fleet. Also, in a related phenomenon, the only places in which snow removal has been prompt and effective are those in which the residents placed no reliance of any kind on federal, state, or local government efforts. In other words, if a terrorist attack had occurred this week, the perpetrators would not have been brought for trial in civilian courts with the full due process rights afforded citizens. Instead, they would have been shot on sight by righteous bystanders, or, as they are also known, "Americans."

Q. What is the proper technique for shoveling heavy snow?

A. Lift with your legs, not with your back. For this answer, see also "What should the misfit have done to get better exercise and incur less risk of injury while clearing her walkways?"

Q. Why doesn't Home Depot advertise most of its products - for a random example, plywood beadboard panels - on its website?

A. Scientists are still working on this difficult problem.

Q. Was that red strapless number really the most attractive entry on last week's episode of Project Runway?

A. No.

Q. What is the most compelling item to shop for once regular shopping activities are recommenced?

A. Definitely winter boots on clearance. Unfortunately, in a visit to Marshall's and Burlington Coat Factory several weeks ago (i.e., during the cold season in this region), most of the inventory was already sold, and what remained was impractical and ugly. Further research is being conducted into remaining viable sources of supply.

Q. How clean is the misfit's house now?

A. Much cleaner than it used to be, but probably not so's you'd notice if you didn't live here. Definitely not as clean as JBTC's!

*Q. To which Terry Pratchett book is this a reference?

A. Well, obviously, I know. But if you want to guess, you may do so in the comments. Also, you need to listen to "Spam" again.


  1. I don't know the book reference, but your Q&A is hilarious, especially about the snow plows and Al Qaeda.

  2. :) The boot clearance shopping should commence online, that's how I found mine!

  3. Me and DH have decided that the first item we're buying once they plow our street is WARM SOCKS. These athletic socks that hug the ankles just don't cut it when you're out shoveling snow!
    Thanks for the laugh - this post is hilarious :).

  4. Hehehehe. Sounds like cabin fever is not phasing you at all. Stay warm.

  5. Those questions and answers are so fun! I wish we'd gotten some more snow here, as I have had to teach all week and I am so not in the mood.

    I didn't get to see Project Runway yet, but I will give you my opinion on it later!

  6. Oh, very funny post. I liked it. You what is funny (pathetic?)? I don't think I would have ever known you all have gotten so much snow if it weren't for the blogeality.

    I'm going to guess Pratchett's Wintersmith...but really I don't know.

  7. Great post! Though...I think your house is much cleaner than mine at this moment. Because I have been traveling out of the country all week, I don't even want to know the state of my house. My husband's usual strategy is to let it go during the week and then clean the morning / afternoon before I get home. It works for me. What I don't know about won't hurt me! Thanks for the fun post!

  8. No idea, and I've read most of his books. Mind's not functioning. Too much snow. Cabin fever.

  9. What a hilarious post!!!! I have had some serious snow envy going on here, then again our snowplows actually plow in the snow! What is up with that?????

  10. Lovely laughs. Esp the B*G connection to snow shoveling. Unfortunately, even married dudes seem to be suffering from the same syndrome. Should we call the EPA (in case it's something in the water) or demand changes to the DSM?

  11. heee, awesome post! And you just reminded me i MUST download White & Nerdy. Thanks for that :)