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It’s the same every year

December 18, 2022

Up here in Minneapolis, in the great state of Minnesota, star of the north, gem of the heartland, we get winter storms that drop sizeable amounts of snow on the roads making driving difficult at best. The local news stations cover these storms with zeal. They give us “team coverage” and we get to hear snow news, snow traffic (because who doesn’t want to see car accidents and spinouts?) and snow weather. They send reporters out in large SUVs with drivers so they can clog up the roads even more for no reason and waste gas they provide much needed first-hand accounts on road conditions.

“It’s very slippery out here,” one might say.

“Speeds are slow, allow plenty of time to get to your destination,” another might say.

“Is it just me or is this the most inane, unnecessary, and potentially dangerous assignment you’ve ever been on?” they might all say to each other when the cameras stop and microphones are silent.

It’s the same every year.

Another thing that’s the same every year is that for two days before a predicted winter storm grocery stores are crowded with people preparing for the storm of the century and for two days after the storm people are talking about their experiences in the snow. One of the most common post-storm topics of conversation is driving and nine times out of 10 those conversations involve drivers who don’t slow down and exercise caution when driving, and who inevitably wind up in the ditch.

And so there I was at the grocery store this morning, just two days after a strong winter storm that dropped 6” of snow over the Twin Cities metro area, and the cashier and the customer in front of me were talking about the storm. The cashier is relating her story about driving home from work last Thursday when it was snowing hard and some guy driving a pick-up truck (bad winter drivers always drive trucks or big SUVs) came from out of nowhere and passed her driving fast. She continued driving cautiously and five minutes later she passed the bad driver.

“In the ditch?” the customer asked.

“Spun out in the ditch,” she said with a big smile. “And I looked over at him and smiled and waved.”

“Good for you!” the customer cheered.

“Give me a break,” I didn’t say as I silently begged them to stop talking so I could get my stuff rung up.

So here’s the part I don’t understand. The person driving the pick-up truck is a jerk. Drivers like that put other people’s lives in danger and the accident they might cause could snarl traffic for a long time and inconvenience hundreds of people. But does that make it ok for other people to take joy in that person’s suffering? And does it make it ok for someone else to applaud that other person’s insensitive and unkind thoughts? Does the belief that another person is a jerk make it ok for us to be a jerk as well? What do you think?

I’m used to people being inconsiderate. You hold the door for someone and they breeze through without offering a thank you. That’s ok because you hold the door to be a kind person, not for any kind of reward. But to find humor, and take pleasure in someone else’s suffering and pain, I don’t get that.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 18, 2022 9:12 am

    It’s part of what’s known as “Minnesota Nice”, dontcha know.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. December 18, 2022 10:55 am

    That would be karma. I hear she’s a bitch

    Liked by 1 person

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