When I started pleading with Mother Nature to drop some snow in my yard, I neglected to factor in one major issue: Pittsburghers do not know how to drive in snow. Despite the fact that it snows EVERY year, it seems that there are a fairly large group of drivers that just. don't. get. it.
I get it, though. Living in North Dakota will do that to you. I took my driving test in the midst of a whiteout so severe that I got to skip the parallel parking portion of the festivities since it was impossible to see if there was a vehicle behind me. It's not really that difficult to drive in heavy snow--just slow down a little, increase the distance between you and everything else, and assume that it's going to take twice or even three times longer than normal to come to a complete stop.
Rather than following those basic guidelines, it seems that many Pittsburghers fall into one of two categories. First, there are the OHMYGAWDTHEREISSNOWs. They are the ones that sit hunched over their steering wheels, fists clutched tightly as they crrrraaaaawwwwwl down the road. They will drive 5 mph when the road is totally dry, I guess because they are convinced that the snowflake they saw a few miles back might grow legs, get up, and run under their tire, causing them to wreck. They refuse to switch lanes because OHMYGAWDTHEREISSNOW. They refuse to pull over because OHMYGAWDTHEREISSNOW. If you get stuck behind one, I hope you have a day or two, because you ain't getting anywhere fast.
The other disease that courses through many Pittsburghers' veins can often be spotted from miles away. Does the person drive an SUV? Do they think that 4-wheel drive is a solution for ice? Are they convinced that having an SUV makes them invincible? Then they have Jackassitis. Those with Jackassitis are the people who don't slow down, don't increase following distance, and don't really care if you are on the road with them. In fact, they are stoked that they finally have an excuse to drive their big honkin' vehicle like a jackass, so they speed up, intentionally try to slide, and get annoyed at anyone that gets in their way. They do serve a useful purpose when they try to push everybody else out of their way; they are so close to the vehicle in front of them that snow never has a chance to hit the road.
The only thing worse than encountering one of these people is encountering two of them. That is EXACTLY what happened to me last Friday night as I drove over to a local bowling alley for a little fun. In front of me was the OMYGAWDTHEREISSNOW and behind me was someone with Jackassitis.
It was ugly.
As the OHMYGAWDTHEREISSNOW slowly craaaaaaawled down the road, the Jackassitis tailgated me from behind. It was a little two lane road with no opportunities to safely pass, but that didn't stop Jackassitis from continuously weaving left of center to scope things out. Every time he or she did, OHMYGAWDTHEREISSNOW would slam on the brakes. Genius! Let's all crash!
Of course, my reaction to being tailgated is to increase my distance with the vehicle in front of me. It turns out that when you are only driving 5 mph? It's really hard to do that. When I finally came to a nearly complete stop, Jackassitis found his or her horn. So helpful!
It took over 15 minutes to drive one lonely mile. 15 minutes that I was the sticky white creme in an Oreo, desperately trying to make sure that the chocolate cookies stayed away. 15 minutes that I was thisclose to jumping out of my car and walking up to OHMYGAWDTHEREISSNOW's window to yell at him or her to just move over. 15 minutes that I was thisclose to slamming on my breaks and letting Jackassitis buy me a new car. 15 minutes that I was REALLY glad I didn't have Alexis with me because girlfriend would have learned a LOT of new words that night.
OK, Mother Nature, I'm good. We don't need any more snow. My heart can't take the stress.