By DARREN HANDSCHUH
While reading a news report a couple of weeks ago about a skiff of snow that hit the Valley bottom, one media outlet declared “Snow catches people off guard.”
How is that possible? It's an entire season. Are these same people walking around the summer wearing heavy coats, complaining the heat caught them by surprise?
This is how things work in this fine country: spring gives way to summer, summer gives way to fall, fall gives way to winter and when winter arrives the white stuff blankets the Valley.
It happens every single year.
Another thing that happens every single year is the snow “catches people by surprise.”
Like I said, winter happens every year, but as the first flakes of the year fall upon the land, people flock to the local tire stores and are stunned to find a line up of other people also getting winter treads.
It's too bad there was not some sort of warning the snow was coming. Perhaps a device with numbers, days of the week and months on it that would indicate what season it is.
I do not know what to call this device, but it sure would come in handy to help people figure out roughly when winter is going to make an appearance. We could even hang it on the wall where it would be easy to see.
Perhaps the old timers, which is pretty much anyone over two years old, could tell those drivers that every year, winter happens in Canada.
That way they will not be caught by surprise.
There are also a few fender benders and police always issue a formal statement urging people to slow down and drive with caution. Well, no d'uh.
Do we really need to be told this bit of information?
“The police have not officially said to drive cautiously so I guess I can rip around the snow with my bald all seasons at a crazy rate of speed.”But even after the all-important warning is issued, there are still those bonehead few who know they are too good a driver to have to obey those pesky recommendations like speed limits, winter tires or having a brain.
As a young lad, I may have occasionally disregarded the recommendation of the constabulary to drive a little more cautiously in the white stuff. And when I say 'may have' what I mean is, “Yeee-haaaw, this is some good fun.”
Yes, I admit it. It was me. I was that scary little snot-nosed punk who went blasting past you at warp factor gazzillion through a blanket of fresh powder.
By the grace of a kind and loving god, I was never in a serious accident (the key word being serious) or caused any injury or harm to myself or anyone else on the planet.
Unintentionally parking in the ditch does not count as an accident, and that fence jumped out of no where, honest.
Now that I am much older, wiser, fatter and balder, I can appreciate the danger I was putting myself and others in. Once again, thank you God that no harm came from my youthful exuberance (also known as immature stupidity, which ever you prefer.)
I am now all about the safety, but let's keep it within reason shall we. Slow down, yes. Go so slow the speedometer on my car does not even register, that might be a little much.
The first snow fall of the year (you know, the one that catches everyone by surprise) is usually the toughest one to drive in because you have to re-learn how a car handles in the snow.
I can appreciate that, but travelling down the road at a whopping 10 km/h, goes a little over the top in terms of defensive driving.
Let's be careful, but not ridiculous.