Friday, February 12, 2010

Snowballs and Monkey Business

The more time one spends among us humans the more one understands why monkeys and chimps in the zoo hurl feces through the bars of their cages at us when we walk past. Their frustration must be palpable. The temptation to poke themselves in the eye with their not quite good enough thumbs must be difficult to resist.

Primates' patience was on my mind yesterday morning as I drove around wishing that I had as much of it as my vine-swinging brethren. On the Day After Snowmageddon blasted through the State of Concrete Gardens, the imbecile class was out in full force. The highway was jammed not with broken heroes but with idiots carrying untold cubic feet of snow on the hoods and roofs of their vehicles.

A small amount of residual snow pockmarking one's car on the morning after a major snowstorm is not a surprise. But yesterday the roads were full of drivers whose cars appeared to be either mobile souvenir shops selling snowflakes by the gross or transports for some type of half-assed workplace show and tell ("Hey look what Tom brought in to show us everybody; snow!"). The style of vehicle proved to be irrelevant for whether the driver was piloting a SUV or a subcompact he was equally likely to be operating his vehicle from under the snow cap.

Whether stupidity is contagious I know not. I suspect highly that indifference is. Here in New Jersey we have a law - a fairly new law at that - that makes those of us who drive cars responsible to make all reasonable efforts to remove accumulated ice and snow from on our cars before we go whizzing down the road in them. It is a law that appears to require only a rudimentary grasp of English as a prerequisite to understanding it. Clearly it is more difficult to apply than it is to comprehend, which is presumably why I spent my drive south on 287 yesterday morning going to my deposition dodging flying snow shards and ice balls as if I was piloting the Millenium Falcon instead of Skate.

Thumbs and thought are what have given us a leg up on our primate cousins. Keep wearing those mittens kids. Spring is another five weeks away.


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