I haven't been to the movies in two weeks, because it's just too damn cold here. Air from Siberia has been capriciously mixed with air from the Arctic, and we're living in a winter wonderland here, by which we mean, it's winter, I wonder if this crap is ever going to stop. The most hilarious aspect of it is watching the weather people troop on each evening and tell us that tonight it will be super cold but tomorrow night will be much warmer. That's happened five nights in a row now and I'm starting to think they're using the same software the Department of FInance uses for economic forecasting.
At first it was kind of fun and all, since Ireland gets snow about as often as it gets competent prime ministers, but snow gets old real fast in a country that doesn't have the practice, and now I just want it to get the hell out of my way and let me get back to normal life. Instead, it's outstaying its welcome with the kind of tenacity normally only seen with drunks on the bus and those marvelous people who think that part of the social mission of public service in Ireland is a commitment to spend four hours on the phone listening to them work through everything in the world that isn't really their fault. (Maybe it is your fault, maybe it isn't, but I do know it ain't my job to fix what's wrong with you, because I can't see a copy of the DSM IV anywhere on my office bookshelf).
It was all great and fun and stuff when it was just soft and fluffy snow making my car twice the height those Swiss guys made it, but three days in, the soft and fluffy stuff turned into a lumpy hardpack crust getting between me and everything I gotta do to pay the bills and all the things that I run up the bills doing.
And at first I was cheered up by the way that people were nicer to each other as we wrestled with the misery, but nearly two weeks into this nonsense what I'm noticing is all the people who don't think that they need to do anything to clear the ice away from the front of their businesses. Big business is too big for that kind of thing, I notice. The banks, those kinds of people. Little guys who actually own their stores; you can navigate past those places safely. Big business; not so much. It's going to be brisk business down the Four Goldmines next year as they start to work their way through all the people who picked themselves up from outside big businesses and while they waited for the ambulances remembered what Dillinger used to say about the banks. Thanks goodness I won't need to sit through that.
For me, it's just a matter of wondering whether I'm going to be on my bike again this side of Christmas. The house is still surrounded by a half mile thick no go zone of pack ice before you can get to a main road, not that the main roads are any kind of picnic for bikers. What ice is still left is piled up semi randomly in the gutters, leaving you to wonder whether to get out in the middle and risk some clown skidding through black ice into you, or get in close and kill yourself on whatever's lurking beside the kerb. So I've been riding the buses, which has been educational and impressive. I don't know how bus drivers are getting to work in the first place, given that they don't get paid enough to live anywhere with good transport links or decent roads, but get to work they do, and then they fight their way through stupidly messy roads to get the rest of us to work. I'm a fan of bus-drivers suddenly.
And maybe there's a lesson for us in how we're dealing with the snow in how we ought to deal with the other storms of crap which are falling on the country, but whatever that lesson is, I'm just too damn cold to think what it would be.