A Bit About Me

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Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

04 February 2014

Day 4: When Hell Freezes Over

(My icy bird feeder and snowy bird bath.)

I always figured I was in my own personal Hell here in Alabama.  Oh, I joked about it for years...poor pitiful me, a New Jersey chick stuck in Alabama since 1990 (or thereabouts...I'm not even going to count).

What seriously could be worse?  It's like I'm in a "Twilight Zone" episode...they hate people from the north here...I can't even begin to tell you how many times I heard (with obvious disgust), "Oh, yer a Yankee!" each time I'd mention I was from Jersey.  And, I have to endure countless "Oh, bless your wittle heart..." (yes, they like to say "wittle" for some odd reason) comments each time I say anything remotely sounding like complaining. 

I hear it a lot. 

And they aren't fooling me with their southernisms...I know as well as they do that what they really are saying is the south's euphemism for "fuck you".  I know they are - they say it the same way we say "fuck you" in Jersey, only we say it without the southern accent.. And, I guess you might say that our counterpart to "wittle" would be "frig"...as in, "What the frig did you just say?  Wittle?  You said 'wittle' to me?  Say 'wittle' again, I dare you, I double dare you, motherfrigger..say 'wittle' one more goddamn time!"  (I said that in my best Samuel L. Jackson "Pulp Fiction" voice, by the way.)

But...I know it's my Hell.  People don't even get sarcasm.  I will be all sarcastic saying silly stuff...and they will look at me...they look at me like I'm that Venusian diner guy with the three eyes in that "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?" episode of "Twilight Zone".  So, yeah...I know it's Hell...because it's yet another "Twilight Zone" episode I'm in.  They will look at me and stare - and I will say "It's sarcasm...ha ha...sarcasm??" and then they stare some more while I will walk away thinking, "This IS my Hell, isn't it?"

And it is.  And, last Tuesday, Hell froze over.  If anyone nonchalantly remarks to you..."Yeah, sure...I'll do that...when Hell freezes over!" you can tell them that's already happened.

Oh, everyone jokes about it...I was one of the first...it was comical really...a "dusting of snow"...a mere 1-2 inches and Alabama (and more infamously, Atlanta, Georgia) came crashing to a grinding halt. 

In Jersey, two inches was nothing.  It wasn't even child's play.  Real kids waited until there was at least six inches to a foot of the white stuff before we'd throw on a coat and freeze our little woolen-mittened stumps of hands off -- feverishly building a snowman with raw abandon. Snot oozing out of our noses only to be wiped away with our frozen-mittened stumps...only to freeze once more...a nice snot-laden-tiered coating for our hands...layer upon layer of frozen nose mucus -- and it didn't phase anyone one bit.  If it happened during school...we'd still build our snowmen with our snot-coated mittens while all the teachers huddled around the flagpole puffing away their Marlboro's - their deeply inhaled smoke would look the same upon exhalation as our breath did in the frigid weather. And, we, like proper kids of the day, would blow out our imaginary cigarette smoke out - in between getting pelted with rock-covered snowballs and wiping our red frozen noses.

And, no one...no one ever got a day off from school...or at least rarely. You see, we had these things called "plows" and other things called "road salt" - and the plows would be running all pre-dawn hours ensuring they'd put a damper on dashing our hopes of hearing our school's number being rattled off on some Philadelphia radio station's channel by some guy who could talk faster than an auctioneer on crack.  And then you'd scurry to get ready because your bus was going to be there any minute...and you couldn't sit around waiting.

But...to a standstill everything came here...and then we all waited.

When I ventured outside early Tuesday, the sleet had begun...my car already getting a nice glaze of ice.  I turned both the faucets on...the one in front of the house...and the one in back.  I heard a bunch of sirens and I thought to myself, "There it starts...they should really just stay home...these people can't drive in the snow...and no one can drive on ice..."  A few hours later I heard that a man and his 2-year-old daughter had died in a seven car accident on an icy bridge a couple miles from me.  The snow, that was now falling...wasn't magical mitten stuff anymore...it was deadly. 

And, as you all pretty much know...Atlanta's ice froze people in their tracks.  Birmingham had them same plight...and county after county here in Alabama, they shut down their roads.  I sat in disbelief -- county roads were closed, state highways were closed...and so were the interstates running in and out of here.  One of my Facebook "friends" was stuck in his car, on an Atlanta highway, for 19 hours.  Nineteen.  How do you do that?  That...is a bit worse than rosy cheeks and groans of school being open...that, my friends, is what Hell looks like when it's frozen over.

Our roads were closed that Tuesday until Friday. Luckily I was home when all this happened...some never made it home.

So, while everyone up north keeps joking about how stupid Atlanta's mayor was and how uproariously funny it was that the south was crippled by a "dusting of snow"...just shut the fuck up. 

Oh, and bless your wittle hearts.

Today's prompt is "When Hell Freezes Over".  Please join all the other writers over at "We Work for Cheese" - and read their takes on Hell.  :)


  1. Sorry, I have no reason why this blog came out with the highlighting like that - and about four tries later...this is the best it's going to look.


  2. It's not highlighting. It's what I call "blog sleet". Good read.

  3. Yeah, I don't think I'd do well in Alabama either ...

    I've had "blog sleet" ^ before too - usually when I pasted some text from another source.

  4. So much for the friendly south. Eff them for their rudeness.

    As for that storm, all the worse case scenarios the south could think of happened at one time - very sad and scary.

    This was a great choice for the topic!

  5. The folks (I say that with my Virginia accent) down there really screwed up and didn't take the forecast seriously. They can't help it if they dont have a lot of icy road equipment to start, but they could have been better prepared. So sad, bless their wittle hearts.

  6. They dislike you because you're from another part of the country? They have no understanding of sarcasm? They think they're hardier than anyone else and make fun of the slightest complaint? Where the hell are you -- Alabama or Saskatchewan?

  7. I agree with Reffie, I think it was just too much all at once. It's hard to prepare for something that happens so rarely, if ever. So sad for those trapped in it. Nicely done with this one, Mariann.

  8. Oh my God this brought me from one emotion to another!! This should be published somewhere... It
    Is an incredible viewpoint on where you live and what happened. How did people not freeze to death! Wow!

    1. Katherine's comment summed up my feelings entirely. Great post.

  9. Well here in North Carolina we were prepared, the streets were pre-treated and the schools closed. We only got an inch, though. We've come a long way in the last 20 years at treating and clearing the streets. We even had our neighborhood streets plowed when I was a kid.

  10. I wrote it like I always do - in an email to myself and then copy/pasted it to the blogger site. It's done this one or two others times and I can't ever figure out what I did differently. The only thing I can think of is that my mail wasn't working (I send them to myself a couple times during the writing in case my computer crashes) and I copied it and sent it over from my Google mail account. But I didn't think I copied it from there...because my computer didn't crash, I just kept on typing in the aol email. I don't get it. Oh well. It's done now...maybe just a third reference to a "Twilight Zone" episode is in order? ;)

  11. Nicely stated. For some reason I can't get rid of this vision of an auctioneer on crack.

  12. Oh...I noticed I could have inserted another "Hell" in there. Oh well. I'll live. Thanks everyone for the comments! I love comments...I live for comments. Good or bad...I love 'em! :)

  13. As a teacher of four year olds, I loved the part about the snot covered mittens! As for living in Alabama... I'm sure it's lovely, but I'm not sure I could put up with all the wittle things.

  14. I feel like a horrible person for the fact that, after reading this, my mind keeps going back to "stuck on the highway for 19 hours"... Who has a bladder that makes that even a POSSIBILITY? (I'm sorry... I get stuck on the weirdest things).

  15. No...I think this is where people will start rethinking adding things like "Depends" and urine catching containers in their cars. That was the first thing I thought of. I mean...you have to go...and there's nowhere to go. Us womenfolk, are not blessed with being able to write our names in the snow...and we kinda look like we're peeing if we squat next to our cars. I think their might be a niche market in here somewhere. I know where it is...I just need some money to get it up and running. I seriously think people would buy what I'm thinking of. Or the Depends. I'm going to buy a box and stick them in my car. I'm serious. That could have been me - I had dropped my daughter off at Atlanta's Amtrak station a couple weeks prior. I would have been alone, stuck on a highway. And, yeah...you have to pee...you might even have to do other feminine things...if you know what I mean. I don't know what all those people did...they had to have gone...somewhere.

  16. OK, death sucks, no matter what the situation. Still, we're dealing with a foot of the stuff up here in Boston today. And we'll be back to work tomorrow, too. Another 6 inches or so due on the weekend. Wittle southerners are made of spun sugar or something...

  17. It's always sad to see death happen, for sure. But in perspective, as like the one comment above, it's snowing like heck here today and I made it to work and will. To see entire states/major cities shut down the way Atlanta was is kind of crazy -- especially considering they had ample warning AND the mayor said they were prepared.

    I have a friend who was working in Kentucky. There was a dusting (he sent a photo) and every school in the county closed. Crazy. So different. I'm glad I live in the Northeast and can deal with the snow, even if a bit slower now. :)