There are many time-honored topics that people will always joke about in part because they are, or were, based on some level of reality.
Just the mere mention of these subjects instantly initiates a predetermined connotation, usually negative, for the listener.
If I say New York cab drivers, airline food, reality television, Miley Cyrus or Vanderbilt football, you probably, without even realizing it, adopt a wry smile and start nodding your head knowingly.
The thing is, Cyrus’ latest record is pretty darn good, and the Commodores, a perennial doormat, have won a bunch of games in the last couple of years.
Mention the word snow around here, and several things instantly happen. The first is that people lose their dang minds and instantly launch into doomsday-prepper mode, rushing off to the stores to buy all the milk and bread they can, as well as canned items they’ve never eaten in their lives.
The second thing is that schools shut down.
The third thing is that a large part of the population makes fun of the preppers. Usually they do so after making their own run to the grocery.
“Man, people are crazy,” they say. “The weathermen must own stock in the grocery stores, because the shelves are empty.”
Of course they could only know that by visiting the stores themselves, probably to buy milk and bread.
We do, in fact, deserve much of the ridicule we get for our often overly panicked reactions to the “snow” word, but not all of it.
Usually the people who do most of the disparaging are transplants, often from the North. These are people who remember walking to school in blizzards and 4-foot snowdrifts.
The thing is, it’s probably very flat where these guys came from. They don’t have mountains, hills, bridges, roads that twist and turn like a coiled snake and driveways originally conquered by mountain goats and later tamed by sherpas.
The snow where they came from is big, fluffy and dry and lands on roads that are flat and straight. And they have neighbors who own plows that attach to their trucks, just because they can, and it’s fun to clear out the neighborhood.
Now, where we do tend to deserve being made fun of is for those times when we launch into full prepper mode for events that never happen, but what are you gonna do?
Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6354.
Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...