Friends of mine left the other day for the Caribbean. I hate them.
When they get back, I shall tell them how good the weather has been. I will tell them the snow was fun as long as it lasted but then it got cleared up real soon. The plows came out and the sanders sanded and there was no trouble at all commuting.
I will tell them that the subways never stopped working and the buses ran like clockwork and everyone in Washington pitched in and shoveled their walks. As a result, walking was a breeze and no one in the whole city slipped and fell.
I will tell them that the only place where snow was left was in the parks. There, kids sledded and dogs romped and everyone had a swell time playing in the snow. No one got cold and no one got the sniffles and in all of Washington, not one kid got sick and coughed and had a runny nose.
I will tell them that the schools reopened immediately. I will tell them that even the Fairfax schools were open and that all the kids went because their parents did not want them to miss their sex education classes.
I will tell them that there was no blackout in Georgetown and that the phones worked fine and that the subways kept on running--especially the parts underground. I will tell them that there was never any ice on the third rail and that the buses performed terrifically and that the city had finally learned how to handle snow. The intersections were clear and traffic just flowed.
I will tell them the federal government had a terrific policy on the snow. It knew just when to send everyone home and just when to call everyone back. I will tell them that no one got stuck in traffic and everyone just marveled at how smart those people are at the Office of Snow Indecision.
I know they will find this hard to believe. In the past, Washington has just fallen apart whenever it has snowed. In fact, it falls apart in the rain and, of course, whenever there is an election. Some people think that the people who work at the Board of Elections are then shifted to the Office of Snow Preparedness and they bring to that task the same skill and dedication that they bring to elections.
Thank God. I can now tell my friends all this is gone. Even the cab drivers finally learned how to drive in the snow. They all had snow tires or chains and they just whipped around the city, charging reduced fares for people they saw out in the street and cold. I will regale them with stories of how Channel 9 and, I guess, the other stations had correspondents all over the area, reporting that it was snowing just about everywhere. It was snowing in Arlington and in Prince George's and at Upper Wisconsin Avenue. My God, it was thrilling to see such journalism.
I will tell them that National Airport managed to stay open and Dulles, too. I will tell them that during the snow, there was plenty of milk everywhere and no lines at the stores. I will praise the imaginary snow plow operators and the city they work for and how they managed to do such a wonderful job on the major thoroughfares. Why in three days or so, they almost had them cleared.
I will tell my friends that all they heard while lying on the beach and getting skin cancer was wrong. How silly of them to think that even the underground portions of the subway could not run. How dumb of them to believe that the streets were not cleared. How incredible that they could think that the side streets never saw a plow or that even some major streets would have provided an obstacle to Peggy Fleming. How could they believe that school was closed even three days after the snow or that federal government workers were called in and then sent home--just like that. The things people will say.
No, I will tell them that Washington finally learned how to cope with snow. I will tell them that people who went to the Caribbean missed a wonderful time, a time of snow and fun and seeing a city respond the way few cities could. And finally, I will tell them, as I stare into their tanned and rested faces, that there is one thing more I want to add.
I hate them.