Washington's weather wimps bite back

Tuesday - 1/24/2012, 2:00am EST

Washington has been called Disneyland East. The city of the Worried Well. Baghdad on the Potomac, etc. And it will probably get worse thanks to yesterday...

The decision to delay the opening of government offices Monday — because of ice and fog — provides excellent fodder for editorial writers around the country. Broadcasters paid to be 'funny' will take a shot or two at the delayed arrival. Especially if they are in places like Green Bay or Syracuse. Or cities like Chicago, Boston and Buffalo where people know how to drive.

But for those of us who live here in this very hilly, river city Monday's call was a blessing. Especially for those (like me) who had to come in especially early. We got very lucky because one of the two largest suburban counties (Montgomery County in Maryland) had a professional day. That meant the staff worked, but tens of thousands of kids didn't have to be transported by bus, van or SUV. That took a lot of traffic off the road.

Washington probably has more people living here who didn't grow up here than most other cities. (I was born in sunny Indianapolis, Ind. where men are men and women drive snowplows!)

We have a large population of carpetbaggers because this is the seat of government and lots of people come here to work. Politicians make careers out of running against the waste, fraud and abuse of Washington, D.C. and spend millions of dollars so they can get reelected to they can live and work in what they describe as cesspool. Their selflessness knows no bounds!

A friend, originally from St. Louis, says that many people here suffer from false memories of their youth. He says that many recall walking miles to school in blizzards. Of never having a school shut down for any reason. When they came here, he says, they left two things at home: Their youth and their ability to drive. Our hills, traffic circles, diplomats and transplanted drivers are too much for them.

A friend and I once pushed a small rear-engine drive car out of a snowbank on a hill on 30th street N.W., in Georgetown. The car had Massachusetts tags. So he had seen snow before. Yet he got stuck, like a lot of people, that winter. We laughed about it. He said D.C. snow seemed wetter than it was in Boston. Great laugh. Great attitude. I can see why Sen. Ted Kennedy had such a long career.

So if you are watching the weather shenanigans in D.C. with disdain, that's okay.

The decision for a delayed opening here probably prevented a lot of car wrecks, major delays and maybe some traffic fatalities. You can laugh all you want. We are accustomed to it.

One request: We can suffer all the insults about our inability to cope with cold weather. Or, if you are from Houston, New Orleans or Miami, what wimps we are in the summer. Whatever...

But do us a favor, okay. There are 535 people here — all from other places, some from your hometown — that are really problematic. Although designated lawmakers, It seems a lot of them are always getting caught taking bribes, accepting favors, getting sweetheart loans, freebie trips, sometimes with female entertainment thrown in. Or twittering naughty self portraits of themselves to selected constituents. Every now and then, one of two of them gets nailed, sometimes even jailed. But probably not often enough.

So we'll try to do better dealing with adverse weather if you will stop sending, those strange representatives (representative of what?) here.


NEARLY USELESS FACTOID

By Jack Moore

Did you ever wonder what tree rings would sound like if they were cut into LP-sized slices and loaded onto a special record player able to cross-sectional pieces of tree trunks? Wonder no more: Life's Little Mysteries has video.


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