Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Manning's monkey, morons and management mandates

I don’t know about you, but after two weeks of Super Bowl hype, I never want to read about Peyton Manning’s monkey again. Never.

But amazingly, the only place to have worse weather on Sunday than Miami was right here in the Midwest.

We’re used to snow in Michigan.

You can expect it anytime from November through April. But last weekend we had an honest-to-goodness blizzard.

It was the real deal, with below-zero temperatures, 40 mph winds, nearly a foot of snow, whiteout conditions on the roads complete with 70-car pile-ups.

As luck would have it, it was my turn in the rotation to work the weekend shift. Yes, when other people are told to stay home, our job is to defy that order and go in to work and report on the other people defying the order along with the assorted nasty things that happen in such conditions.

But I saw a pair of things that convinced me that the greatest hazard isn’t the snow, the ice, the temperature or even the wind.

No, the greatest threat to public safety is certain members of the public itself. Yup, morons behind the wheel.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m sure these people are morons every day of the year. They’re just easier to spot in the snow.

I was driving into work Saturday, taking side roads because it already was apparent that the Interstates were doomed.

It was slick and nasty and the roads had not yet been plowed well.

And blowing past me in the other direction was a car where the driver apparently had the time to wipe the snow off his windshield, but nothing else. There must have been eight inches of snow on his hood, and I have no idea how he possibly could have seen over it.

So I was getting all worked up, feeling guilty that I hoped this guy would plow right off the road and into the BP station on the corner that always seems to charge a nickel a gallon more than any other station. At least the explosion would warm things up and I would have a decent story to write.

Except I had barely thought up that scenario when I saw a second car speed past. The only spot cleared off on this guy’s car was the driver’s side of the windshield. That’s it. Side windows, back window and the other half of the windshield, all covered in snow.

I almost made a u-turn and followed the guy for a while, because you have to figure it was only a matter of time before something bad happened.

My real job

Usually I cover schools here in Grand Rapids. We’re slowly entering the Internet age, and the folks at The Press have allowed me to blog about education on the paper’s Website.

If you are interested, you can find it here: Head of the Class.

It’s been hinted that perhaps my blind devotion to all things Mets be confined to this space, and that Head of the Class be limited to discussions about education.

Hmmm. Education as in the “three R’s.” And those would be reading, ‘riting and …. Ranting. Yeah, ranting about the Derek Freaking Jeter and his Yankee-hack-loving intangibles and Jose Reyes not getting the respect he deserves and Willie Randolph getting denied his Manager of the Year Award for an ex-Yankee flunkie who finished with a losing record and was promptly fired couldn’t get another job.

Maybe we’re better off sticking to school programs after all, like No Carlos Left Behind.


Burrill said...

I agree -- no more Manning monkey. But we both know better than that. And I'm not sure what I'd rather hear less about: Manning's coronation or Favre's return for one more year of mediocrity. To tell you the truth, I'd rather not hear one more word about either.

Oh, and you guys on the west side have it worse with the snow. That lake effect makes it fun. We don't get near as much snow over here. As a winter guy, sometimes that makes me a little sad ... when I don't have to drive in unpleasant weather.

Mets Guy in Michigan said...

When we moved from the east side of the state, people said "You know about lake-effect snow, right?"

I thought, how bad could it possibly be?

Let's just say that I went and bought a snow-blower after mocking such things for years!

Burrill said...

You moved from the east side? So you've seen firsthand the remarkable difference in culture from east side to west side. (I've lived on the east my whole life, but my sister lives in Holland.)

Also, something I like is that the west side has an abundance of fruit farms. Oh, how I love the fresh fruit. It's great to visit my sister and come back with fresh peaches from some roadside stand.

Kaylee said...

I so want to move to the east coast right now!I love the snow:)AND I HATE the summers here in Arizona.I have never liked manning and never will especiall after this but,of course,I am a patriots fan and the colts are our rivary.