I know you've heard it so many times during the past week that you're getting sick, but I too have had all the snow I can take. I, like everyone else, want the drought to end so I have water to drink, water with which to scrub my armpits, water to keep my weeds growing, water to keep my golf courses green and water to keep the 10-pound trout alive that I'm going to catch next summer in Strawberry Reservoir. But this state of icebergness is causing me grief.
I, unlike some people, don't have a neighbor that gets a buzz out of jumping on his four-wheeler and cleaning every sidewalk and driveway in the neighborhood. Removing snow is manual labor to me.I cleaned my driveway one morning only to have street plows come along a short time later and lock me in with a 3-foot-high snow wall. My wife was late for work so she just tried to plow through the snow wall, but got stuck. To make matters worse, the car ran out of gas while I was digging it out. (Yes, it's the weather's fault that I didn't turn the engine off.)
During the past two weeks I've twice been greeted in the morning with a dead car battery. I can't jump the battery with another car, either, because I have a one-car driveway and no car on earth could drive across my lawn right now. The city won't let me park in the street.
Several mornings I've been unable to get into my car because melted snow ran down the doors, later causing them to freeze shut. I've mangled both car keys in the frozen locks.
The grief that these storms have caused me, however, is minor when compared to others. Here's my list of those who suffer the most from this severe weather.
1. Highway Patrol troopers, deputy sheriffs and police officers. While many spend blustery nights in front of a fire, these men and women are out on the slick roads rescuing the ones who think they're immortal. They risk their lives so body shops know which insurance company to bill.
2. Dispatchers. The most unappreciated job on earth. When the skies turn white, telephones at dispatch central ring off the wall. They're the ones who coordinate rescue efforts and they're the ones who send the tow trucks. I'd put them first on my list but they at least get to work indoors.
3. Snow plow operators. It's tough to throw slush around and make everyone happy. If I were a plow driver, I'd take my overtime pay and go on a trip to the equator.
4. Everyone who does not drive a four-wheel-drive vehicle. It isn't traveling on snow-covered roads that makes driving difficult for most of us, it's dodging speeding four-wheel-drive cars and trucks and the slush they're throwing on our windshields that's making traveling miserable.
5. Postal workers. Except the ones who leave notes in my mailbox telling me that I'll get no further mail unless I clear a path so they don't have to get out of their vehicle. After all, a 29-cent Elvis stamp will only buy so much.
6. Pedestrians. Take your choice between walking on ice, through 3 feet of snow, or putting slush guards on your glasses and wearing rubber clothes.
7. People waiting for buses. Open the door and the King of Bunker Hill will slide off the glacier right into his seat.
8. Parents of newspaper carriers. You didn't know you had a second job, did you?
9. Elderly people. Just how many times can my neighbor be thankful for me cleaning her driveway?
10. Snow skiers. No matter how full Utah Lake gets, water skiers will always be able to get to the lake.
(Jim Rayburn, Springville, is a staff writer in the Deseret News' Utah County bureau.)