“Kids, gather round, let me tell you a story! Once upon a time, way baaack in 2017, when cars couldn’t drive themselves and it used to only rain in Portland, we had the first of our soon to be regular snowstorms, and we thought it was so cute we gave it a cool name, “Thundersnow 2017”, because it was big, and it dumped a foot of snow overnight, and the snow was pretty and the air was cold. The snow was so fun, and inviting, and lots and lots of families went outside and
That year of 2017, the snow stayed… and stayed… and stayed… and stayed… and stayed… and stayed… and stayed… and stayed… and stayed… that’s one ‘stayed’ for every snow day off school! And that didn’t even count the weekends or the holiday Monday that joined the party – it was days and days of beautiful white cold slippery Auntie Snow. Now, this was where it all started to change for Ptown: the days and days of never disappearing snow, of not being able to drive anywhere in the city, because back then we only had TWO snowplows, with important hwys to try and clear – what I mean is, to try to clear all the abandoned cars out of the way so the snow could be cleared.
I know now we have big snow every year, for months and months, and our cars can fly right on over the huge drifts, but remember this was 2017, and Portland was mostly known for lots of melted snow (rain) coming from the sky – not the snowy wonderland we have these days. So you have to picture all these confused people – they had gone out, like usual, and played in the snow. And when they woke up the next day, they thought, “yay!” another sledding day, and out they went, playing hookie from work because no one could drive on the snowy slippery hills. No one went to work, unless they could snowshoe there, and everyone was happy and chipper because it was so novel – snow! Two whole days of Auntie Snow! Enjoy her before she leaves town! Build something beautiful, send the picture to the news channel, get in the cute slideshow.
But Auntie Snow didn’t want to leave, she wanted to overstay her welcome. People were confused. They started to get cranky when they couldn’t drive to work, or the store, or drop their kids off anywhere. They were done with Auntie Snow! Why wouldn't she leave? They did not want to live in Michigan; they liked melted snow (rain), and this time, Auntie Snow wasn’t going away.
You know what happened to the people? Parents got tired of their kids. Parent got real tired of the noise because the snow wasn’t inviting the kids outside anymore, those kids were actually bored with Auntie Snow! Now everyone was inside the house, and everyone knew mom was hiding in the bathroom with the wine bottle again, and everyone knew dad was trying to drive down the hill again. Food was running low; only frozen broccoli and the chips no one likes or the crumbs of the good chips at the bottom of the bag were left. People got right ‘snow tired’. The sun shone. The temps dropped. Tempers shone and spirits dropped. People tried to get distracted by MLK day and even tried to march in 20 degrees and ice. But when that day ended Auntie Snow invited her sister, Ice Storm, to come over and see what was going on and join in the good fun. School was cancelled again! That was the last straw, kids, it was the last straw! Portlanders went Postal – which reminds me, it’d been a week since those lying postpersons had ventured out to deliver any mail (through snow sleet ice my ass) or any trash trucks went out to gather garbage, a whole week! And that is how Auntie Snow and her sister Ice Storm caused the Crazies of 2017.
At first people just went out and lit candles in their yards to try to melt the ice and snow. Then one smart alecky guy lit a fire in his truck. He put all the recycling and garbage no one had bothered to pick up in the back, and drenched it in lighter fluid, and while it did burn quite nicely, and the ice did melt, the truck suddenly started to slide down the hill, hitting another car, and they both burst into flames! This made the people cheer! They started chanting “Melt! Melt! Melt!” and throwing their furniture into the fire (there was a very nice Ethan Allen table that four men tossed in) and some of the ice WAS melting, and when the people saw the melting, their eyes went all black and they started lighting their houses on fire! The people cheered and played in the melted ice and snow, and the crazies had struck them something awful! They looked so very happy! Whole neighborhoods burnt to the ground that night, and people were drinking and the kids were dancing and cheering and chanting they were so happy to see that liquid snow!
‘Course the next day, when they woke to find there was still ice and no place warm for some of them to go, they hung their heads in shame, and had to build igloos because their insurance companies did not reimburse them (you know, Auntie Arson) and instead they were shunned by others until they went off to other places and you know what they did? They bought a snow plow, each of them, and every winter they would come to Portland and angrily attack the snow, which of course, we were getting lots and lots of, as we have ever since.
And that is how school became year round.”