Let me begin by saying I am a Texas boy. What that means, dear reader, is that winter was almost always a non-event in which temperatures dropped to a more comfortable and tolerable level for a month or two before returning to the life-draining, merciless heat of our ten month-long summers. Once in a while, though, Mother Nature would pull a fast one on us just so she could sit back and laugh at our antics.
Definition: The only ice Texans are meant to handle is in our iced tea.
Venture back with me to winter 2002. For a few days time stood still, the earth moved, and folks in Hell were given a drink of cool water. That's the only rational explanation for the blanket of snow and ice that covered Dallas during the first week of February.
North Texas had come to a screeching standstill, brought to its knees by this foreign white substance falling from the heavens. I watched it all from my second floor home office, the bay windows providing a panoramic view of the frozen tundra. I had a week off from work unpaid, mind you, since I was self-employed, but you can't put a price on the entertainment I was afforded from my lofty vantage point.
The weather forecasters warned all of us Dallasites to stay home. Far be it from me to walk across the street to my salon, so I sipped coffee while watching the events unfold just beyond my vista. The antics of one gentleman in particular caught my attention. We shall henceforth refer to him as Mr. Blockhead.
Two other brave souls had gone before him in vain attempts to leave for work. Unable to get any traction, their cars had merely slid backwards from their driveways and into the middle of the street running between our condominiums. They would remain parked there until week's end, testimonials to their noble but failed attempts to tame the unfamiliar beast know as Old Man Winter.
Mr. Blockhead, undaunted by the failures of his peers, valiantly scraped ice from his car's windows. He made very little headway, and after ten or fifteen minutes he threw his ice scraper down and went inside. Figuring the show was over, I went to the kitchen to refill my coffee.
Ah, but the show had only begun.
I sat back down at my computer and turned my chair to enjoy the view from the bay windows. Mr. Blockhead had re-emerged and was now carrying a bucket in place of his briefcase. I had assumed, based on said briefcase and the suit he was wearing, that he had a tad more than an eighth grade education. My assumptions proved to be unfounded.
There was steam rising from the bucket, and I remember thinking, "Surely he's not that dumb." Once again, I assumed incorrectly.
Raring back, he flung the contents of the bucket on his car. The wave of steaming water splashed across his windshield, and the ice melted instantly in a huge mushroom cloud of white vapor. In the same instance, the windshield splintered as if someone had taken a ball peen hammer to it. I nearly fell out of my chair laughing as he stared in horror at the spider web of cracks that now covered his windshield.
Let me just say Mr. Blockhead is not representative of all of us Texans. We are quick studies. Now that I live in a state with real winters, I have learned exactly how to deal with the icy roads.
I bring home my laptop and work from the kitchen table. You're welcome.