Mass Hysteria


Snowfall on Boston Common.

Snowblindness is defined as a “painful eye condition, caused by exposure of unprotected eyes to the ultraviolet rays in bright sunlight reflected from snow or ice”.

I have a different definition for it, however. I use it to describe the near-psychotic sense of hysteria that infects the local population in the days and hours prior to an oncoming snowstorm. Crowds of tense, panic-stricken people, their eyes blank with paralyzing terror, crowding grocery stores to stock up on milk, bread, water and cheese flavored puffy snacks. Lines at gas stations that stretch out blocks, causing even more congestion to what are already gridlocked roads and streets as everyone desperately tries to drive their cars as much as humanly possible before a single horrifyingly individualistic flake can hit the ground.

This behaviours is, quite literally, utterly mindless. We do live in the Northeast, after all. We have seen snow before.

So it is, as I happened to be visiting my dumb but loyal bodyguard Dave, who is laid up recovering from a half dozen cracked ribs thanks to an unfortunate run in with a family of Moose last weekend on a KSWNO hiking expedition near the Compound, at his home in a coastal town just south of Boston, that I was witness this deplorable sort of group cowardice people there tend to exhibit when a wee bit of snow is in the forecast.

Granted, there is about 8-12 inches forecast, the worst accumulation and winds spot on at Dave’s location, but, really, is that any reason to start organizing mass suicides?

So what drives people to this state?

Is it the likelyhood that this will initiate another Ice Age and the glaciers will move down across Canada with such swiftness that homes will be ground beneath encroaching walls of ice before we could even get our boots tied?

Is the the packs of feral polar bears sure to take over our cities, feeding on the last remnants of a humanity fallen towards frozen extinction?

Maybe. Or maybe folks just remember the Blizzard of ’78 too well, where an admittedly unprepared populace was buried under two feet of snow for a week or so. Granted, folks did get burned during that one but that sort of thing is once in a millennium and meteorolgy has advanced far enough at this point that I’m fairly certain we could prepare ourselves well enough before something like that hit.

Regardless, the streets are now filled with crazed lunatics, eyes glazed and empty, fingers clutched white-knuckled on steering wheels, pushing and shoving at the check-out counters, barking animalistic gibberish into their cell phones to confused and terrified loved ones screaming at them to get home before the apocalypse hits.

At this point, I may just join the suicide crowd. Maybe self-immolation is the only way out now.

Hell, at least I’ll be warm.


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4 Responses to “Mass Hysteria”

  1. Bookblog Brian Says:

    I guess I’m canceling my trip this weekend. There’s nothing I hate more than having to jostle with crazed rabble as they try to pull their foots out of their ass and drive. Or maybe I should drive towards Pennsylvania and use the Socratunnel out to your bunker. Is that thing still sturdy?.

    Crap. I was really looking forward to fishing for hookers.

  2. Ken Socrates Says:

    It’s still fairly sturdy thanks to it’s Roman Arch style design and construction. Even that accidental plastique explosion we set off in there when we were smuggling for that radical Quebec separatist group did little more than shake loose a few bricks and scare the rats.

    Don’t forget, it’s located under a Casino there in Pennsylvania. One that we still need to visit together at some point. Not sure about the hookers there but I can make a call.

  3. Ozzy McGurt Says:

    What a bunch of East Coast pansies! They should all spend a winter out here on the Wyoming plains. Out here in the West we understand that being prepared doesn’t mean loading up on over priced gas and cheese flavored chemicals at the last minute. Being prepared means BEING PREPARED!! I’ve got enough food, firewood, and hay stored up to keep myself, mother, Elsa, three dogs, half a dozen cats, 12 alpacas, 5 cows, a coop full of chickens and possibly a few lost coyotes warm and well fed for at least six months. I know you understand this sort of thing Ken, which is why when the shit hits the fan you and I will be gods.

  4. Ken Socrates Says:

    We’re gods already, Oz. It’s when the shit hits the fan that people will finally realize it.

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