April 26, 2018

SATIRE: My sorrowful snow saga

It is such an inconvenience, I find, having to face the harsh arctic air every morning on my trek out to the car. This winter has certainly not made my morning commute a field day, to say the least. Some mornings I have faced such horrifying hardships –from inside the safety of my own car, may I add!– as cold hands, frigid seats, brisk air, and on exceptionally raw days the occasional window frost and even frozen water bottle.

Quite luckily, however, I have discovered a remarkable strategy for coping with the approximately 2-3 minutes of utterly unbearable chill I formerly faced during the first stretch of my five minute drive to school. Now, incorporated into my morning routine, I run out through the two car garage every morning at exactly 6:53 to start running the engine and pull the car out. While the Mercedes is heating up, I nibble my eggs Benedict and digest at my leisure. Twenty minutes later, I then depart from the inside world of a perfectly maintained 70°F climate and dash through the tundra that is the front yard and slide into the car, which to my delight is toasty upon my arrival, thus proving garages are overrated. During my commute, I now find myself shedding my coat for I am no longer in need of its simple warmth services when my car can reach up to the impressive temperatures of 80, even 90 degrees thanks to the extraordinary warmth my car has created.

So grateful am I for finally finding a means of overcoming this terribly unfortunate inconvenience of cold hands in the mornings. I no longer face the annoyances of frosty fingertips and a numbing nose. And, the best part of all is it is at nearly no cost to me! I waste only  as much fuel as if I had traveled 10 miles[1], a price I am certainly willing to pay in exchange for losing two minutes of below comfortable temperatures. It is a fair trade, in my opinion, when 1 gallon of gas only produces 17 pounds of carbon dioxide[2], and 17 pounds of carbon dioxide will just join the other 6,000 million metric tons[3] of its kind in the atmosphere and continue to alter the climate, making summers hotter and winters (like this horrid one we have just endured) even colder, and storms wilder. Such fools are those who still complain about their cold cars when I have clearly found a solution.

Alas, however, this is nowhere near the end of my winter woes. Recently, the uncontrollable and unpredictable flux in weather with temperatures ranging from 12 to 50 degrees over the course of two days has given the roof of my house quite the run for its money.The constant melting, freezing, and melting, and freezing, and melting again has caused for the build up of rather massive ice dams on my roof. While the dams do not bother me when they mind their own business up on the roof, aside from the occasional drip, the real problem I have with those damn dams is when they start to fall. And oh boy how they do fall! They slip and slide and suddenly- crash! Under snow siege from all sides, my house is surrounded by plummeting ice. The shock it gives me is tremendous, and often, as I watch from my windows, I feel the same fear I imagine one must feel in a warzone, constantly unaware of the next snow siege. However- and thank goodness for this- a brief diversion game of Subway Surfer or Candy Crush reminds me that I am only in snowy suburbia.

Yet, my fears persist as the days grow warmer and the melting more rapid. I lay awake in my bed at night, staring at the ceiling, knowing that somewhere up there are massive mounds of snow collaborating and plotting their next attack against me.  I could not rest easily until I was fortunate enough to discover the miraculous invention of heat cables. While the brilliant inventor of this extraordinary home addition is unknown to me, I send him my thanks daily for giving me the ability to attach electric cables onto my roof to control the melting of the snow from it. Yes, ice still falls from the eaves. Yes,  they do use 13 watts of energy per foot of cable[4]. And yes, for every kilowatt-hour of energy used, 1.6 pounds of carbon dioxide are created[5], but those are all just minor details and all completely worthwhile because I now am in control of the ice, for when it falls off the roof as it did before, I know it was I who put those heat cables up there to cause the snow to come crashing down. And when the temperatures are abnormally cold or exceptionally hot or perhaps when we receive a record-breaking amount of snow, I feel in control because I know it was I who helped put that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that brought us to this unfortunate inconvenience in the first place.

(Olivia Gieger ’17, Arts Editor)

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