Groundhogs, Snow Days, and Frosted Tips

No Sting Zone | laurelle | February 16, 2016

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Two weeks ago good ol’ Punxsutawney Phil, after a mild and lovely winter might I add, emerged from his den with no shadow in sight. God Bless that little furry mammal as this was sure to mean one thing: winter was over and a detestably long winter was dodged. Until today…

Today, Rochesterians were hit with a snowfall they didn’t expect, but arguably deserved. A city that laughs in the face of 6-inch snow falls and shrugs its shoulders at fallings of a foot or more, treated this falling of 14 inches as apocalypse-esque. While some feared the snow, I embraced it; what a better excuse to do absolutely nothing with my day (i.e. still in my pajamas at 1:19pm a true rarity for me). 

I ventured to the couch around 8:30AM- finished some homework and drank some green tea that I chased with two bowls of Cocoa Pebbles. After deciding my classes were “cancelled” I knew I had to be productive, so I listened to sports talk radio and ate Cheez-it Snack Mix. After sitting for a while the caffeine in the green tea hit me and I had the urge to go consider going to the gym.

I got up looked at the snow outside as I patted my stomach that was filled with cheesy goodness. I saw cars struggling in the snow- that’s a no to the gym idea. As I started to turn away I realized the back tire was ripping off of this odd colored light sea green covered Ford Hybrid vehicle. I threw on my boots- no jacket because after 3+ days below zero this 30 degree weather was reminiscent of a vacation in Punta Cana.

At 5 foot 2 I was practically in this snow up to my hip. I struggled across the street to the car that was still rocking back in forth in an effort to escape the grasp of the snow. Rocking is a great technique to gain grip and get out of deep snow, however much less effective when your rear tire has been torn to shreds and the bottom of your car is being scraped off as a result.

The driver of the car, whom I thought was an older woman from my view through the window, was actually a middle age man (A professor or Doctor at the U of R most definitely) with frosted tips.  He was completely unaware of the damage he was doing to his car, or my presence, so I knocked on the window. “You ripped your tire off,” I mouthed through the window. He looked back at me in confusion. What wasn’t to understand (come on doctor dude)? Your tire is legitimately not on your vehicle hence you are stuck in the snow. After finally understanding what I said he exited his car and let out a nice loud F-bomb, finally.

I helped him push his car to the side of the road, although he was very hesitant. Surely he was judging me based on my appearance: oversized sweatshirt, flannel pajamas, disheveled hair. He also had no faith in my ability to push his car… meanwhile his car looked like one of the electric ones I drove around my grandma’s backyard at the age of 4. However, whenever I got my Barbie Jeep stuck I always got her out on my own, no tire damage whatsoever.

I made sure he had Triple-A, then offered up our house while he waited for them. In my head I saw this as a nice gesture; I would make him tea, he would explain his N-Sync hair cut, we would become friends. I pointed to our house across the street, pink shutters with landscaping looking as fine as ever-the 12+ inches of snow did wonders covering up the cans and broken bottles that lay below. He barely acknowledged my offer, at first I was offended, then I realized I really didn’t care to have him judge the inside of my house as he had judged me. So we parted ways, no thank you was exchanged and I walked back to my house with my tail between my legs.

This encounter has left me with some valuable take aways. First, the groundhog is never right. No matter how cool the Caddy Shack groundhog was as a species they are overrated and their weather predicting skills are sub parr. Second, people may not always appreciate your help, but we do it not because we need positive reinforcement for our actions but because we care. Extending a hand to those in need is a nice thing to do, even if they have frosted tips and a frosty personality. Lastly, if you live in Rochester having a terrible little hybrid (particularly in that terrible green-blue color) is just an all around bad idea.

By the way… his car is still out there, and my door is still open to him, even though he just smirked at me as I almost got stuck in my own driveway in a desperate attempt to go get McDonald’s.