Sure, it was barely an inch of sleet and slush, but that’s more than enough to trigger a snowgasm here in the South. Fact is, my bosses (and my kids) been jonesin’ for a precip-hit since last winter piffled so completely. Of course they don’t have to bundle up and trudge through the muck of a paralyzed Piedmont. No, that’s my job. And it’s a job I often enjoy - despite my habit of belly-achin’ about it on-line. But we’re not here to stare at my belly button again. We’re here to examine the societal impact of regional inclemency - it’s indirect effect on mobilization, attitudes and foodstuffs hoarding. Something like that, anyway.
Before the first flake ever wafted downward, the grown-ups back at the shop had worked themselves into a wintry-mix frenzy. Rundowns, line-ups, radar sweeps and snow codes - I’m pretty sure I saw someone erect a parking lot igloo out of half-gallon milk jugs and ghetto bread loaves. Silly house cats. Don’t they know all that continuing team smotherage doesn’t come without a little pain and deprivation? To help themalong a little, I unplugged all the snack machines in the break-room. Okay, so I didn’t. I did think about it though - until the cell phone on my hip began vibrating and I was thrust back out onto the tundra. Stupid cell phone…
It’s difficult to understand just how one seventh of an inch of slushy snow can flip a sport utility vehicle, but I’m here to tell you, it can. Of course this inverted grocery-getter wasn’t the only stranded auto to pass through my lens this morning. It was however, the piece de resistance - an indelible image that - if it wouldn’t change the world - would certainly cause a few head scratches around the Piedmont’s collective coffee table. Even still, viewers would have a hard time fathoming the amount of effort put into a five second shot. To capture this particular frame, I had to double-back three exits down, drive upstream in the breakdown lane and wear a really itchy pair of long underwear. I know, I know - Too Much Information.
But fender-benders alone wouldn’t satiate the News Gods. No - they wanted footage of kids playing in the slush - I mean snow. A simple enough request I guess - but considering schools hadn’t been cancelled I wondered where I’d find such blatant truancy. I needn’t have worried. Why not? I got skillz - well honed photog powers of perception that more than make up for my shocking lack of orienteering abilities. Thus, after only about ten minutes of driving around aimlessly, I stumbled into a target-rich environment - an urban playground full of hyped-up city kids. Shouldering my axe, I waded into the crowd and bagged shot after shot of sporadic snowball fights. All went well until I stuck a lens in one kid’s face and sparked a riot of adolescent posturing. Shout-outs I can take, but when the first slushballs came raining down, I tucked away my fancy-cam and ran away like the fresh-faced schoolgirl I never was.
I’m okay with that.