Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Second to the Last of the Frozen Mohicans

Pulling into the parking lot at the office yesterday morning, I was struck by their sinister stoicism. Not incredibly far away from one another but not close enough for one to be feeding off of the other's inherent cool, two snow piles remain to offer evidence of the effect of Snowmageddon Parts I and II. These are not naturally occurring structures of course. Rather they are the result of the temporarily overmatched snow removal fellows we hire to reveal the black in blacktop during winter months having simply had no place else to put the white stuff - other than in enormous piles spaced throughout the parking lot. A week or ten days ago these things were mammoth. And the two that remain (linger really) - having scrunched their faces up into their best Sidney Poitier and Tony Curtis snarls - were but the tip of the spear of an invading force that overran the blacktop, the grass next to it and the road itself.

Oh what a difference forty degrees Fahrenheit makes. At or about this time two weeks ago these two angry looking blocks of frozen precipitate loomed large over the lot like Scylla and Charybdis. Now? They are the remnants of an idea doomed to failure. They have been left behind to be slowly tortured to death by the Sun and his fleet-footed messenger. Once upon a not too long time ago driving into our parking lot was an experience akin to driving onto the set of a National Geographic photo shoot about the Arctic or polar bears or some such thing. And while there is not a thing in this world wrong with spending a bit of quality time with Knut and Giovanna - unless you are a sea lion or are a human who bears an unfortunate resemblance to one beneath your Gore-Tex parka and Doctor Zhivago-style winter hat - traversing the parking lot was a bit more exciting than anyone needed it to be.

Now however these two former behemoths are just rotting, ugly shells of their former self. Once they appeared idyllic - big gobs of pure white snow. Presently they look like the dessert table at an overeaters' convention - two enormous loads of chocolate chip ice cream that no one finds very appealing at all. And where they are is where they shall remain, trapped and suddenly unable to defend themselves from the warmth of a sun that only two weeks ago appeared to have taken an extended winter siesta.

Soon there will be no evidence that they were ever here at all. Two once haughty but now haggard victims of something akin to a Chinese burn. One thing is for certain. It shall not end well for our frozen nemeses. But it will end soon. Their affliction is fatal. And it will not get better.

Well, not for them anyway. You will not hear me complaining. And if you have lived this winter anywhere north of Washington DC and south of Maine I look forward to you joining me in our chorus of silence. Today the snow piles. Tomorrow that damned groundhog.

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