Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Snow Rage!

This winter is kicking ass! We have been getting so much snow, it's just awesome. I have to admit that I got caught up in being a bit down last week, but now I see that it was just the flu attacking my morale. Because today I'm psyched! The sidewalk in front of my house is a windy snow trail and you have to climb up over big banks to get to the intersection. I cross a small park diagonally on my way to work and yesterday on the way home, I noticed these boards lying flat in the snow. Upon closer inspection, I realized they were the tops of the park's picnic tables!

So officially, we are at 317 cm total for this winter. The record in Montreal is 383 cm in 1970-71. I just read that generally about 25% of the snow falls in March, so we have a good chance of breaking the record. I'm keeping my fingers crossed! Last week was a huge boost as we had a big storm of 25 cm on Wednesday and then another one right after it on the weekend that dropped 35 cm easy. It was most excellent.

So the news now is about the increase of snow rage in the province. Some guy outside Quebec city went into his house and got a rifle to threaten a neighbour who was blowing snow into his yard. And yesterday two dudes in Montreal got into an altercation over a parking spot. One guy pulled out a gun. The cops came. Turned out the gun was fake, but fake or real, the crime is the same here so he got collared. Awesome. The quotes from the authorities say that these kinds of things tend to happen but that they are on the increase because everyone is so fed up with the quantity and duration.

What they fail to mention is the real reason for all the anger and frustration. Cars. Every single problem with the snow, every ounce of frustration is because people can't easily get into their precious cars and easily push the buttons that take them to where they have to go. For people who don't drive, the snow is a minor hassle at worse and generally a good thing. A few minutes of shoveling out your walkway and sweeping your stairs compared to all the losers on the block spending hours digging out their cars on Sunday night so they can drive to work. To get a car out takes way more work than clearing a driveway or walkway because there is so much detail work to do.

The municipalities are all way past their budget for snow removal for the year. The Cols Bleus' union has granted them the right to work double their normal shifts, but we are already seeing accidents due to exhaustion. A woman pedestrian was killed the other night by a dump truck making an illegal left on a red. All this effort? So the cars can drive.

I did see one ray of hope in the news media. Almost all of the coverage is about the problems and how fed up everyone is. Happened to catch an on-the-street interview with a guy from Charlottetown (are the Maritimers the last true Canadians?) who was shovelling his driveway. He said "I'm really enjoying it actually. After you get warmed up, you get kind of exhilarated. You look back and see how much you've cleared and you really get a sense of accomplishment. We're Canadian, right? This is what we should be doing!" Hell yes! That's the spirit!

Bring it on, weather gods. My shovel is ready!


french panic said...

Thank you for this - I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooo tired of hearing everyone whine about the snow.

I love all this snow. I want more of it. More snow makes for better forts and better snowfights.

FredGagné said...

Dear Olman Feelyus,

I found your blog last week and I was very impress. I red it all (since 2004). It's a invaluable sociologic document. You truely work hard to try (and succed) to understand the french-canadian community. Congratulation. I really enjoy to red your observations (and also the comments). I agree with you on many subject, and I was also shock (sometime) by some of your write; but, in any case, it help me to understand my own society. It's always helpfull to get the point of view from a foreigner.

Thank you


PS: It will be a great pleasure for me to take a beer with you. Let me know if you also want to (and I will send you my e-mail adress).

Anonymous said...

Well Fred expressed exactly how I feel.

I just finished reading all your entries (I left some comments here and there)and it was very interesting. I love the way you write, it is very similar to the way you talk BTW, even in french.

You made me laugh a lot (Jo too) and you also made me think a lot. It very enlightening to hear the perspective of a "foreigner" of our city, language and culture. (Even though, like you mentioned in a recent post, you are less and less a "foreigner").

And yes, some of the comments on some of your entries (the Wong's one to be exact) made me very angry... But hey! That's life!

All in all, I think you can pretty much say that you are as Québécois as I am. Maybe even more. Because all the things that you have studied, analyzed and discovered gave you an in-dept perspective of the french-canadian culture. I have to be honest, I never paid that much attention to all those thing you talked about. And yet, I was raised by 2 artists parents (that pretty much cover the cultural side), went to university for 5 years (intellectual side) and work for a non-profit organization helping kids find their way in life (social side).

Ok, it's late and I tend to lose my english when I'm tired, so, all I want to say is thanks and please keep writing about my city...


P.S. I'm very glad to know you and to be able to call you a friend!

Unknown said...

I lived through the winter of 71 and it is still one of my best memories. My parents have sent me photos of the snow drifts this year. I love the snow, I love Montreal, and I will always miss living there. There's no place like home!!!!