Happy Picture Day Wednesday everybody… and if my site stats are to be believed, today’s Polaroid campfire story will be the 1,000th post to ever appear on Evil Squirrel’s Nest! Nevermind that a small handful of those 999 posts I “wrote” are reblogs… but WordPress totally believes in the power of plagiarism, so I can now take credit for all of the hard work you put into something I decided to share! Isn’t “social media” so much fun?
Now close your eyes and clear your mind of any and all thoughts… especially the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. OK, are you ready? I want you to picture Oklahoma. You know, the state that inspired the musical…. OOOOOOOOOOOKlahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plain? Got a mental picture of the Native American state? Good! Does it look like this?
Sunday March 2, 2014 was supposed to be the day I spent traveling back up I-44 from my annual message board meetup in Norman, Oklahoma to my nest sweet nest on the other side of St. Louis. Unfortunately, Mother Nature decided that Oklahoma needed to be punished with a massive, late season winter storm that spawned dangerous freezing rain Saturday night, dumped several inches of snow on top of it throughout the day Sunday, and added further misery to the situation with post-storm temperatures in the single digits (Fahrenheit, folks!), very unseasonably cold for the area. Being essentially snowed in at a hotel delaying my trek back home was not exactly how I wished to burn a valuable vacation day.
What brought my frustration to a boil, however, was the half-assed, pathetic, “aw it’ll melt sometime before April” approach to ice and snow removal that the state and local departments of transportation took to getting the roads cleared. I had always been one of those hardened northerners who’d roll my eyes when one of those wild-eyed southreners would wear their irrational snowaphobia like a badge of pride. But to actually get stranded an extra day BECAUSE the locals apparently don’t care to drop salt and plow roads infuriated me to no end. When I finally left for home late, late Sunday night, 24 hours after the storm first hit… the interstate roads in Oklahoma were still not deemed safe for travel, and probably wouldn’t be for several days yet.
But I said, “FUCK THIS!” Fuck Oklahoma and fuck the states that don’t want to take responsibility for keeping their roads maintained during winter weather because they’d rather spend the taxpayer money on cheap hookers. I drove home anyway. I got stuck behind a team of snowplows about 30 miles outside of Oklahoma City doing 30 miles per hour for almost an entire hour. And a shitty job they were doing at that of clearing the snow that had now been on the highway for almost 24 hours. Amazingly, almost like someone had waved a magic wand, when I finally made it to the Missouri border guess what! The roads turned from a slushy, frozen mess to almost completely clear of any trace of winter precipitation! I was actually able to drive the speed limit for most of the remaining 300 miles of my drive thanks to a state that can get its priorities straight!
Interestingly enough, despite it being a Sunday and despite all of the Okies on hunker down status… I was able to sneak a slippery drive over to my favorite Whataburger for something to eat besides whatever the previous guest left in the hotel room icebox. Keep that in mind the next time you plan a milk, bread and egg run… fast food NEVER closes.
I’ll dig out from under all of the profanity and bitterness of my milestone post to come up with something better next week…