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Friday, March 18, 2016



     Last Saturday New York City was hit by an epic, apocalyptic, 100-year blizzard the likes of which we have never seen and are unlikely ever to see again, possibly resulting in the doom and destruction of an entire way of life. In other words, it snowed. Every time it snows these days, the Mayor of New York assembles his top advisers for a press conference, and local news breaks in with a special report at the most inopportune time: during "Judge Judy."

     He had every member of his cabinet there with him, including the people in the cabinet that you hardly ever use, the human equivalent of bay leaves. The Mayor wouldn't say the phrase, "We're totally screwed," but you could read it in his face.

This time they went so far as to issue a travel ban, meaning no one was allowed to come into New York or travel around, except for illegal immigrants, of course. He made it clear that he would personally tase your car if he saw you out driving in the snow.

     De Blasio said we should stock up early on milk, bread, eggs, etc., to avoid having to go out during the storm. We bought 15 gallons of milk. How many people die of lactose intolerance during a blizzard? I convinced my wife that Twix bars have the same ingredients as military MREs, so I got her to buy a 30-day supply of those too.

     Don't forget to buy batteries- if you forget what size to buy, just remember that they are roughly the same as bra sizes. You have your "D" batteries that fit into those huge emergency lamps, and "AA" cells that you use for your small pocket radio. Don't feel embarrassed if you have to pick up some "AAA" batteries- more than a flashlight-full is wasted, I always say.

     I thought I remember that you're supposed to fill up your bathtub, I forget why. Is that what all the milk is for? Buy plenty of baby supplies to ride out the storm. I am able to persuade my wife that babies can eat Twix bars, so we pick up some more of those even though we don't have a baby.

     If you are hard of hearing, you probably didn't hear that it was going to snow. In that case the Mayor had a sign language interpreter there. I don't know if he had too many espressos or what, but he looked like he got most of his moves from a Weird Al Yankovic video. Now, I'm not an expert, but I know some sign language from years of cutting off other drivers at intersections. I've seen just about everything a person can do with two hands, and I believe that de Blasio's hearing interpreter signed, "It's going to be total crap outside so just stay in." Then he proceeded to do an entire Marcel Marceau set where he was trapped in a box, started a lawnmower and cradled a baby, with de Blasio yakking away about alternate side of the street parking. When he started the crying clown routine de Blasio glanced over and the interpreter had to cheese it for a little while.

     I begin to drift off myself as soon as the Mayor starts to repeat the entire press conference in "gringo-Spanish." I start fast forwarding ahead to a week after the storm has passed, and everyone from Queens is shouting angry epithets at the Mayor for not plowing their street. It's their own fault, of course, for living on a "tertiary road." I start imagining de Blasio holding a press conference right before Mount Vesuvius erupts and covers Pompeii. "All businesses MUST shovel their sidewalks after the disaster. I repeat: Get your ash out of there!" As a half hour drags on to forty-five minutes, I'm rooting for local news to break in with a special report that's even more special: "We interrupt this breaking story with an even more important bulletin: Judge Judy is about to render a verdict in the dog bite case...."

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