Get off my lawn, snow!

    Study after study shows people on Facebook post things in order to be perceived a certain way. It’s one of the reasons you always see photos of attractive outfits and beautiful plates of food, and not piles of dirty laundry or carpet stains.

    I can now confirm these studies are accurate, because as I scanned Facebook this morning, I still see lots of people who seem downright giddy that Delaware has been slammed, yet again, with snow.

    As Jerry Seinfeld would ask, “Who are these people?”

    Is it really my job as a cartoonist to remind folks they should be miserable, considering the pounding Mother Nature has decided to bludgeon the First State with this winter? Thursday’s snowfall (11.3 inches where I live in Bear) left us with snowfall totals near 60 inches, more than Minneapolis, Green Bay and Denver.

    In January alone, Wilmington was buried under 17.5 inches of snow, fourth most in the city’s recorded history. You have to go all the way back to the 26.2 inches the city received in January of 1996 to top it. Thursday dropped 12.5 more inches of snow on Wilmington, where the only positive is it makes it more inconvenient for folks to shoot one another.

    Did anyone ever hear the word “bombogenesis” prior to this wintry onslaught? I prefer to think back to a simpler time when I didn’t have to concern myself with extra tropical surface cyclones or polar vortexes. In my naive mind, thunder snow was the worst it could ever get.

    Delaware’s budget is also getting walloped by the snow. In a typical year, $3.7 million is budgeted to DelDOT for snow removal. According to Governor Markell, that number now stands at $9.7 million and rising. Even as he pushes for a gas tax hike no one wants, Markell and DelDOT will be forced to nix some capitol projects to make up the budget shortfall.

    Philadelphia has been hit even harder than Delaware this winter, with Thursday’s snow-fall shattering a 130-year-old record. There have now been four 6+ inch snowfalls in Philadelphia this winter, a new record for the city of brotherly love, pushing the town into the top five snowiest winters of all time. Plus, areas like Delaware and Chester County are running critically low on salt, even as more snow is expected in the forecast.

    I know I’m sounding a bit “get off my lawn-ish,” but adults get a raw deal when it comes to snow. As a kid, seeing the ground covered in a sheet of white meant no school, followed by snow men, sledding, snowball fights and a nightcap consisting of a blanket and a warm hot chocolate.

    As an adult, you get those same feelings when you wake up to fresh snowfall, but they’re quickly erased by the need to dig out your driveway, clean off your car and traverse deadly roads with madmen who refuse to clean off their vehicles completely. All this on a day you’re hardwired to expect nothing but fun and games.

    Know what my next status update will be? “Snow isn’t fun as an adult. It’s like being called into work on a Sunday.”


    Rob Tornoe is a cartoonist and a WHYY contributor. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobTornoe.

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