2014 Winter Weather Wimp Award goes to… SC Legislature

Aiee! A snowflake! Run away; run away! /Flickr photo by Pen Waggener

Aiee! A snowflake! Run away; run away! /Flickr photo by Pen Waggener

Dang, I hate it when this happens!

This morning over breakfast, I saw a Tweet that said the Legislature was canceling the whole week’s sessions because of “the possibility of snow,” or “the probability of inclement weather,” or something along those lines.

So on my way to my laptop, I came up with Winter Weather Wimp Award, and I dug the alliteration (especially that sneaky last “W” in “Award”), and I couldn’t wait to sit down, go grab that Tweet, and mercilessly mock it.

And I can’t find it. Either I misremembered it, or someone realized how ridiculous it sounded and took it down.

But in any case, the Legislature is shutting down for the whole week, even though not a flake has fallen.

So I’m giving them the award anyway. They earned it. And there was plenty of competition. Why, even the U.S. Army has surrendered at the threat of a flake — most of Fort Jackson will be closed.

And to think, just over 69 years ago (wow — has it been that long?), the U.S. Army was living in frozen foxholes in the Ardennes during the coldest European winter on record, and a previously unsuspected German army just rolled right over the 106th Infantry Division (capturing both my father-in-law and Kurt Vonnegut)… but did the Army quit? No. They cut off the advance and knocked the remaining Nazis right back into Germany, fighting them and the ice and snow at the same time.

That’s when men were men, even with frozen toes. Of course, I must confess, it was before my time. Me, I’ve got my L.L. Bean snow boots out in the truck, waiting to put them on and go crunching through the snow when it arrives, pretending that I’m hardy and indomitable…

21 thoughts on “2014 Winter Weather Wimp Award goes to… SC Legislature

    1. Lynn T

      They never (almost never is probably a safer statement) are in session on Friday, and not any longer than absolutely necessary on Thursday afternoon.

      As to the pay — $10,400/year, so deduct whatever.

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    By the way, the caption on that snowflake picture at Wikipedia said, “Almost all snowflakes are unique.” Almost?!?! Is there nothing left to believe in?!?!?

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Bottom line, doesn’t the Observer Effect (sometimes confused with Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle), or something like it, preclude knowing for certain whether two snowflakes are identical? Can you really study them without altering them?

      I don’t know. I just wanted to type “Heisenberg,” because I miss “Breaking Bad”…

      Anyway, I take solace from knowing that as far as physicists know, each snowflake remains unique on the atomic level. Which stands to reason, right?…

  2. Kathryn Fenner

    The legislators are part time, and many commute fairly long distances. Roads will not be safe for inexperienced drivers and, really, what is so earth-shatteringly important they need to bust a chop to get here? Stay home if you can and reduce the dangers to drivers who have to get out.

    My brother used to be an editor with the Charlotte Observer, and they would send out 4 wheel drive vehicles to pick him up in winter weather. I was always afraid some tanked-up joyriding yahoos would crash into them. Of course, he was critical, because back then, you could not publish without decent editing. Back then.
    In Philly, he was on his own to make it in, but folks are more experienced up there.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Huh. Nobody ever gave ME a ride in on snow days, but I had to be there, too. I’ve never seen it as any big deal.

      Also, as for Northerners knowing how to drive in it… when I was up covering the Iowa Caucuses in 1980, and ice storm came up, and I saw THE worst winter-weather driving I’ve ever seen. It was between the airport and downtown Des Moines; I was in a rental. People were skidding and spinning all around me.

  3. Mark Stewart

    The schools are a close third to the legislature and the US Army. No school because of rain. Not even a half day.

    But then nobody should be on SC roads when it snows – that’s when the stupidity flows…

    1. Juan Caruso

      At least the airlines finally see the wisdom of eliminating flights early rather than cancelling them after would-be passengers have arrived at airports just to spend the night waiting uncomfortably. There must be a decent story as to where the credit lies for reasonable response after decades of stubborn inertia.

  4. Doug Ross

    FiTSnews suggests that Harrell cancelled the session this week to gain some time to try and strong arm votes for Jean Toal. All part of the quid pro quo process. He needs a strong ally to help make the ethics charges go away.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yeah, because everybody’s just that corrupt, right?

      If Harrell thinks Toal will rule on him any way but according to the law, he’s a fool.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      But you can’t FEEL what it’s like to have to crack the ice surrounding you to get up in the morning, because you were literally frozen into your foxhole …

      That’s what would have driven me over the edge. Not ze Germans, as Turkish would say. It’s the living conditions, the intense, immediate suffering every instant of every day, for week after week…

      1. Bryan Caskey

        Agree. Given the choice between freezing in the Belgian forests or sweating in the blazing heat of mosquito-infested Pacific islands with sand and grit all around, I’m not sure which way I would go.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Oh, I’d choose Belgium over the Pacific, any day. Part of it, I’ll admit, is my Eurocentric cultural bias: Germans surrender when you beat them. And while they might fight hard and bravely up to then, they don’t infiltrate your perimeter in the night and leap suicidally into your foxhole with a knife and a blood-curdling scream…

  5. Lynn T

    My mother told stories about the soldiers brought to their hospital during the Battle of the Bulge, the frozen feet and hands, the pain. She was with the 95th General Hospital, and a proud member of the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge until she died. However, if she were still with us, she would be planning snow men. Very very small snow men.

    1. Kathryn Fenner

      The year of the big snow storm when I was a kid, 1969, my Yankee parents showed us how to make real full-sized snowmen. Even with the heavy snow, ours were studded with brown grass clippings…not like the ones my parents had made in Buffalo.

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