See that white stuff all over the car and street?

That’s not snow.

Admittedly, there is a tiny bit of snow, including a bit more in the hour or so since I took this picture. But 90% of what is out there isn’t snow.

It’s ice. Ice and sleet with a few flakes of snow mixed in. First came the ice, laying a nice, invisible layer of “Fuck that’s slippery!” all over everything. Then came the sleet, which lays down a nice layer of hard, painful padding for the tiny dusting of snow to stick to.

The result?

Looking outside, it looks like there’s 2-3 inches of snow on the road and everywhere else. So you decide it’s okay to drive on because, in all honesty, snow really isn’t that hard to drive in. But you quickly discover that you have absolutely no traction whatsoever, because camouflaged under that dusting of snow is an ice rink.

And I guarantee you that when the evening news covers all of the carnage that results from this, they’re going to just gloss over the ice and sleet and say “Look how stupid people in the Deep South are! They can’t even drive in 2 inches of snow!” And those viewers who don’t live here are going to point and laughlike they always do without having an inkling of understanding of one simple fact:

We here in the South never get snow. No, 99.99% of the time, we get ice and/or sleet, then maybe some snow on top of that, like a false security blanket covering up a bed of rusty nails. Even winter tires can’t help you with that, unless you have studded tires. But nobody here ever buys studded tires, since they are expensive and we would only ever use them for a couple of days out of each year. That rarity of use is also why we apparently only have 4 plows and 3 de-icing trucks to cover the entire state.

So I look outside and I say “Fuck that.”

I have no reason to go out in this shit. Ice and sleet isn’t even worth hooning on, unlike actual snow. I’m off work, since the store is out of power. We already have all the groceries we need at home, there’s fire wood next to the fire place, and I have absolutely no reason to risk the Mini or pull the Audi out of the garage and risk it.

Why? Because of other people. Even if I know how to drive in these conditions after living in New England for years, most of the people in my area don’t know how to drive in it. So even if I decide to traverse to the store or something for some ungodly reason, and even if I’m fine and having no issues with traction and vehicle control, there’s a very high likelihood that some asshole is going to come barreling around in a 4WD lifted pickup truck on mud tires and wind up sliding into my line and slamming into me. In that instance, I deal with the consequences of someone other than myself not understanding how to drive on ice that looks like snow.

And I simply cannot think of anything outside of my own home that I need badly enough to justify dealing with that.

P.S. - Don’t get me wrong, if this was actual snow instead of ice disguised as snow, the Audi would already be out of the garage with a spare gallon of oil in the trunk, sliding around a nearby parking lot.