Cold comfort

January 23

The media likes to hype weather stories. How they love weather stories. Readers/viewers must love them too, I guess. It’s always an awkward pleasure to see a reporter in a ‘crisis’ zone before the crisis shows up, which often it never does. Find a windy spot for a stand-up. Crouch down with your cheek on the pavement and look up at the towering 2 ½-inch drifts of snow. Cut to a desperate citizen struggling to clear the sidewalk with his squeegee push tool. Interview the lone pedestrian who doesn’t appreciate being chilly and look, you can see her actual breath! Oh my! Back to you, Scott. Beam me up and outta here!

This is the nature of most of our snow crises in Washington. And true to native Buffalonian type, I will scoff. Most of what they call ‘storms’ here are called ‘weather’ in Buffalo. Cold with three inches of snow is called a ‘day.’ You could say that Washington doesn’t know how to ‘deal’ with snow, but no, you can’t. Maybe you could a decade or so ago before they bothered to ask other cities how you ‘plow streets,’ but now it’s pretty clear from public announcements that they know the drill. Plow early and often during the ‘storm.’ No snow falls in DC without it being called a ‘storm.’ It’s a little like calling every rainfall a ‘rainstorm.’ We will get to that point too, no doubt. All of this is based on our crazy and defective ‘comfort and convenience’ standard. This pernicious idea that we should be comfortable at all times is at the heart of many of our ills, including illness! We are ill because of ‘comfort and convenience’. We like to sit! Just LOOK at what sitting does for you! Sitting includes driving, by the way. People talk about driving as an activity, but it’s not. It’s just another inactivity, unless you’re also texting and colliding with other vehicles.

Get out and walk! If the sidewalk is snowy, shovel it. If it’s cold, put on something warm. If somebody else didn’t shovel their walk, trudge! Ever hear of trudging? Not that hard! Exercise, you know, like you pay the gym fees to do! We love to read about facing and overcoming challenges, except really really difficult ones like walking. I’m here to tell you you can do it! You can walk! You can even trudge!

You prefer Springtime? Me too! But Springtime never tastes so sweet as when you get there by trudging.

Tom Toles is the editorial cartoonist for The Post and writes the Tom Toles blog.
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Tom Toles | January 22