Today, a few droplets of water reached the magical temperature of 32 degrees Fahrenheit, a process that daily and deliberately takes place in domestic freezers all across the state. This occurrence in nature, however, causes North Carolina to panic en masse, raise the drawbridge, and proclaim an impending siege by nature herself.
Signs of this panic:
- Neon signs hang over the interstates, warning of the icy conditions to come. They might as well announce, straight from Dante’s Inferno, “Abandon hope, all ye who enter, merge, or exit here.”
- Grocery stores experience the Black Friday of milk and bread. Despite the widely-recognized fact that modern refrigeration is dependent on electric power, milk cartons fly off the shelves, and there is a strong threat of trampling in the bread aisle. That last loaf of pumpernickel is mine!
- Expensive bundles of firewood are the new bitcoin. Economists are already predicting a market crash when this ethereal currency literally goes up in damp, sputtering smoke.
- Twitter undergoes a makeover à la the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization or nessie.co.uk, with sightings of ice popping up all over the state and ever-more excitedly corroborated. #icesighting*
*Not to be confused with #icedtea, the vociferous sweet vs. unsweet battle that divides North and South during the summer…
So, stockpile your expensive firewood bundles, North Carolina. By the time the ice melts (i.e., in two hours time), you will need your newly purchased snow shovel and ice pick to dig your way out of the piles of moldy bread and sour milk mounded on the curb.