February 15, 2006

Snow Daze

Where was Alice during the famous blizzard of 2006? Observing it from the global village, 2,000 miles away, via cable/satellite TV in a sitting room in her friend's borrowed house on Carriacou. (It is one of a trinity of islands comprising the country of Grenada.)

The Caribbean island where Alice took her winter sun came late to the global buffet: TV reception was negligible until the mid-1990s. With it, as she has previously noted, has come an increase in crime, urban fashion statements in small tropical villages, and, dare we say, the American dream? Or is it the American nightmare?

Before the first snowflake hit the island on which Alice usually resides, she had postponed her trip home. She then found it disturbing that an appellate court judge (another guest of Alice's friend, one who will not receive further invitations) thought it wise to try to battle the storm and leave the Caribbean on the day that Central Park boasted 29.6 inches of snow.

(You know that who's counting the snowfall in inches has to be a man.)

That judge is at the second-highest level of the New York State judiciary. This is a man who spent five days on the island without sitting in the sun at the beach or less sticking his toes in the water, a man who watches Fox News as if it were gospel. Alice considers this a frightening demonstration of judgment -- or a demonstration of frightening judgment. You decide.

Alice prefers to consider Fox interactive television: she can't watch for more than 45 seconds before talking back to the screen. She considers it a relative of Comedy Central, because it is hard to imagine these people are serious. To her, they are ludicrous.

As she saw last weekend, having friends in high places is no guarantee of being safe on the range. With friends like Cheney, who needs enemies? In the global village, it has become more and more embarrassing to be an American.

Some (Alice included) would say she is not American; she is a New Yorker, part of a different breed. Most of what happens west of the Hudson or south of the Mason-Dixon line requires translation.

For example, while the house call may be history, Alice can't grasp the idea that a drugstore wouldn't deliver. If she is sick, should she spread her germs around at retail? Bad enough to be in the petrie dish that is the doctor's waiting room.

The more purchases that can be made without leaving the keyboard or telephone, the better, in Alice's book, particularly in winter. The blizzard aside, this has been a relatively mild winter; however, Alice's synapses have had a lengthy meltdown, and some odd kind of agoraphobia has settled in.

You don't need snow to declare a snow day -- Alice's brain has taken nearly a month of snow days this year, and she's not sure how many more she's in for.

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