Karma's Lake Effect

I have a little tale to tell.  For those of you who live in Rochester
still (may you escape soon), perhaps you'll commiserate with our
experience.  For those of you who have long-since left the flower city
for sunnier stomping grounds, perhaps this narrative will impart a
subtle smile on your face (while you mutter "Thank fucking god I left!"
under your breath).  In either case, I hope you find it entertaining.

We spent Wednesday night tasting wine at our current watering hole of
choice -- nothing unusual with that, for those of you who know me well
(OK, being at a bar isn't unusual; perhaps the wine tasting is a bit out
of character).  After closing the bar down (we're quite good about our
responsibilities), I drove home -- it was snowing mildly, nothing

I awoke the next morning to a literal blizzard.  I could barely see my
Hummer outside -- it was buried in one huge mound of wind-whipped snow. 
According to the official reports, overnight we'd had 24" of snow in a
15 hour period, and at 9am, it was still going strong as ever.

After convincing my lovely lesbian neighbors that they really didn't
want to try to drive anywhere in their rear-wheel driven VW Jetta
(which, incidentally, looked like a huge Mt. Snow mogul in the parking
lot), we decided to drive around and see what we could.

Complete and utter chaos.  I can't believe the idiots who decide they
really must leave their house to drive in white-out conditions (hey,
this idiot has a Hummer, and this is one of the few days of the year
that I can justify buying the damn car, so get off my back!).

There were carcasses of abandoned automobiles littering every
side-street, and even the main ones had cars randomly hurled into snow
banks at very non-orthagonal angles.  There were buses stuck straddling
major streets, blocking them off entirely.  There were people trudging
huddled and miserably to god-knows-where in this rather substantial
ivory douching from the heavens.

We returned home briefly, wrung our clothes out, then the Welch Taxi
Service was called to bring a friend to work at a local hospital. 
Sounded like a good cause, and an excellent opportunity to mock more
stuck people (in my opinion, unless you have a serious 4wd vehicle, if
you left your house yesterday, you are a moron).

On the way there, I was perhaps most amused by the Isuzu Rodeo's and Geo
Tracker's of the world.  These little midget "sport utility vehicles"
were entirely useless in the snow, but they inspired some sort of sick
confidence in their owners, which caused them to be flung into the most
interesting positions in snow banks across the city.

Sure, I was gloating.  I even said aloud, to my trusty companion Matt,
"...and they all laughed at me for getting a Hummer!  muhahahaha!"  My
one day of vengeance and justification, I'll be damned if I was going to
miss out on it.

Now then -- on the return trip from our taxi service, we were stuck in
traffic.  Matt suggested we cut through a parking lot on the right, hit
the side-street, and bypass the clusterfuck that was ahead of us.  I
looked over to my right -- a parking lot full of 1.5-2 foot deep virgin
snow, not a single car or track in the lot.  Hard to resist.

We went barrelling through the parking lot, kicking up snow right and
left, hootin' and hollerin' like two hicks at a rodeo.  Then there was a
loud "thud", the front of the Hummer rocketed up, followed by a
sickening *crunch* as we landed.  I looked over at Matt with a look of
"oops!" on my face.  I went forward, I went backwards.  No dice, we were
stuck, and stuck hard.

I couldn't quite figure out what happened, so I got out to have a look. 
"Oh my god, I can't believe it."  That was what I said aloud as I
discovered exactly what stupid situation I'd gotten myself into this
time.  We'd manage to rocket over a fucking guard rail.  You've seen
these lovely little devices on the highway, and as we discovered, they
seem to like to plant themselves in random parking lots.

This was a rather tall guard rail; I rocked the car back and forth
trying to get it to jump back over -- but the situation was complicated
by the fact that there was a huge, menacing garbage dumpster just a yard
or so ahead and to the right of the car.  I had a very limited space to
rock the car back and forth, but after tearing the living shit out of a
sign (and bending the guard rail rather severely), we managed to pop

After some laughing and a high-five or two later (we were both rather
relieved that we didn't have to suffer the embarrassment of having a tow
truck see the stupid situation we'd lodged ourselves in), we got out to
take a look at the damage.  To the guard rail.  All I can say is that
when the snow melts, the owner of that parking lot is going to look at
his guard rail and say "What the fuck???"

We then decided to pick up another friend of mine, grab some tow straps,
and cruise around helping people out of the snow.  There was no shortage
of folks to rescue, either -- every street we went down in the Park
Ave./East Ave. area was littered with entrenched cars and their
distraught/cursing owners.

We pulled/pushed out about a dozen or so people, although it was harder
than it should have been.  Few modern cars seem to have anywhere to
attach a tow hook -- I mean, if we hooked it to their plastic bumper,
the second I accelerate, that bumper is going to be sailing over my
head.  So we spent a good bit of the time pushing and shoveling with our
bodies instead of pulling with the Hummer.  I was starting to get
annoyed, because I wanted to break in my brand spankin' new towing

Finally, as we went down Harvard, and were about to take a right onto
Culver, there was an 18 wheeler stuck just off of the 490 ramp.  It was
actually a rather comical scene, there were 4-5 people behind the truck
trying to *push* the damn thing, while the driver spun the rig's wheels.
 "Yeah right, that'll work."

Mike looked over at me with a smile on his face.  I said "You've got to
be kidding me, there's no way."

The smile still plastered to his face, he replied "C'mon, we have to at
least give it a shot."

"What the fuck?" I shrug; a little smile creeping its way onto my
countenance as well.  I swung the Hummer over in front of the massive
Mack Truck.  The driver hopped out of the car, we pulled out virgin tow
straps out, and there was a moment of "Is this a stupid idea?" that
stretched between us as we looked at the rig, at the Hummer, and back

Next thing you know, he's underneath the rig fastening the tow straps,
and we've got a crowd of on-lookers who are equally amused by the scene
that was about to unfold.  I hopped into the Hummer, put it in gear, and
crept forward.  The tow straps tightened.  The Hummer's engine cleared
its throat, and the Mack began to move.  Sure as shit, the truck was
pulled clean out of the snow bank, no muss, no fuss.  ROAR!

The driver, who'd been up for 16 or so hours (12 of which were spent on
the throughway) was so ecstatic it seemed like he was going to offer us
sex right then and there.  As appealing as his hairy belly might seem, I
left it at a handshake (and a little round of cheering from the
on-lookers), and we took off again.

We towed out another half dozen or so people afterwards, but nothing has
quite the same testosterone factor as yanking out an 18 wheeler.  Too
bad we didn't get a picture, it was quite a comical scene.

For those of you living in warmer climates, sure you may be tan, but let
me just tell you, you're missing all of the fun...