I suppose our winter could be worse, but I’m not sure how. The severe cold, persistent patterns of snow, high utility and propane bills – that’s the tangible, the real part of our winter. But for many, it’s the depression and general malaise that comes with cabin fever. Although I enjoy severe weather – including cold and snow – it’s starting to get old. Missourians are not alone.
An Atlanta psychiatrist says he has never seen so much Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Of course, Georgians are in the middle of a historically bad winter. The mental disorder is typified by depression, usually associated with low-light conditions in winter. But the added winter burden, he says, of extreme cold, anxiety, and being shuttered inside is making it much worse. However, be thankful you’re not a snowplow driver.
In the nation’s northeast, which has been hammered all winter long, plow drivers are being threatened. Several drivers report being shot at, assaulted with shovels, and generally disliked by the masses. One driver in Connecticut walked off the job, saying it wasn’t worth the risk. Other drivers say they understand the main complaint – constantly plowing cars underneath tons of snow. One man stood by his car with a gun, demanding that the plow drivers quit shoveling snow on top of his car. Like global warming and other trendy terms, we now have a new one: Snow Rage!
Apparently, snow rage is loosely defined as “…losing one’s ability to control anger due to persistent harsh winter weather.” Or something similar to that. Snow rage is occurring in grocery stores (fights over milk, bread, the usual staples of winter storms) and hardware stores, where legendary fights over salt and snow shovels have been recorded in community newspapers. I like to think that Midwesterners – specifically Show-Me-Staters – are far too civilized for such nonsense.
But then again, I’m not sure we can take much more. At least, I’m not sure I can take much more. I recently yelled at a blue jay for hogging a bird feeder. In the police reports, you’ll read about a cat taking down some City Lake geese. I bet it was snow rage.
Where the heck is Al Gore when you need him?