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Keep in mind not everybody's got a 4x4 to drive

February 5, 2014
By PAUL GIANNAMORE - Blogger ( , The Herald-Star

I was already a little skittish about this whole driving to work in the PT Cruiser shod with its mud-and-notires today. I awoke at 3 a.m., saw the snow and started sweating.

I awoke finally for good before the alarm at 4:40, suited up, was amazed at having to push the back door against the weight of several inches of snow, stepped out and noted that there was an already accumulating ice crust forming and made it to the garage.

I opened the garage door, grabbed the snow shovel, went out behind the Cruiser's side of the garage, pushed and pulled up a big shovel full of snow and tossed it. Repeat. Repeat again.

Wait, whoa. My lower back was already starting to protest. Then I realized I was all bent over with the shovel. Which was only two feet long. Only 24-inches of snow shovel vs. 8 inches of Ohio Valley snow and ice. That doesn't work.

And then the anger boileth over. Which of my wonderful family, who shovel after my 4:30 a.m. departures, (I leave and brave the elements in the dark) snapped the handle off the snow shovel?

I gave up, avoided texting angrily to The Drummer and The Boss, figuring I didn't want their last memory of me to be an angry text, started the Cruiser, jammed into reverse, got out into the deep stuff in the alley, rocked him back and forth a couple times, found traction and made it to the end of the alley.

The Cruiser channeled its inner K-Car and blasted over the snowplow snowbank onto the street. We made it all the way to Route 7, slithered and slunked over the mound of snow at the end of the on-ramp, glad that the Hummer guy went for coffee or gasoline or cigarettes instead of following us onto the highway.

And then the real fun began.

Now, I admit, I am not doing more than 35, but there's only an icy lane-and-a-half that the ODOT guys worked hard to get open. I'm using every skill in the book to keep Mr. Enrico the Cruiser between the Armco and the concrete. And I admit, 35 isn't much if you're the Jeep-drivin' man behind me. So, yes, the Jeep Cherokee guy who passed me in the lane-and-a-half was partially justified, though I note he didn't take the other, snow-covered half lane. If you've got Quadra-Trac, go ahead, but give me my itty-bitty patch o'pavement.

Ram Pickup guy went by at 55 a few moments later. He did signal before cutting the half-lane-width back into my lane.

Then came the one that got me cheesed. Old Chevy Cavalier guy, who gave up the thought of tailgating me to Steubenville in favor of a sloshy, slushy, windshield smearing pass. Thanks pallie. That noted Snowmobile, the Chevy Cavailler. Thanks a lot.

Then cometh the three semis bearing down from behind. They got bigger and bigger and bigger until the lead semi's headlamps were the size of the Moon in the Cruiser's back window. I tried to think of how to give them room to pass, given that I didn't want to tangle with them, nor did I want to screw up their obvious need for momentum. I headed off the ramp at Pottery Addition southbound, firmly giving up on resisting the automatic popping up of both middle fingers at the same time. It happens. Get over it, dear readers.

Anyway, getting off the highway there was a great move, considering that ODOT's trucks have to go through there. Nice conditions. And, when I merged back onto 7 a few minutes later, the three semis were all of about 50 yards ahead.


The point here is, just because you have the capability, consider that the other guy isn't just driving a little slowly because he wants to impede your precious day. I was doing all I could to keep the car moving, and unless you want to start an Obama program to buy everyone a more snow-capable car, shut the hell up and follow me until it's safe to pass. I was not getting your precious vehicles stuck. And my time is as valuable as yours, so long as I'm not hospitalied or dead from a stupid car accident.

I was being careful and driving within my car's capabilities and my capabilities. Sorry they're not the same as your snow Indycar's.

I am not a target of opportunity like in some video game. There is no reset button if I crash. I'm driving what I can afford to my gainful employment. So smoke yourselves.

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