(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.
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. :)