Montreal is currently in the throes of that most wicked of all natural phenomena (okay .. maybe not the most wicked), the late-spring snowstorm. Like a sharp, unannounced kick to the cojones, this white monster hits when you think you’re safe.
The cruelty of a late winter, dare I say early spring, snowstorm can be likened to those unfortunate soldiers who were killed after the Armistice was signed, perhaps sensing an end to the conflict they let their guards down and paid the ultimate price. When you thought you were out of the woods, reality sets in, and no amount of crying Uncle will get you out of the jam.
There will be plenty of folks who will try to ease the cruelty by pointing out that the snow won’t stay long, it will melt in no time at all, turning everything a beautiful lush green. But it still has to be there to melt, and therein lies the problem.
Just when you thought it was safe to heave that joyous spring sign of relief, to let out your breath after holding it for the last five months (figuratively of course) along comes that little vixen Mother Nature with a cold, wet slap in the face in the form of seven or eight inches of blowing snow.
Cancel the appointment to get those snow tires off and replaced with summer ones; the vehicle equivalent of taking off old clunky, heavy boots and putting on lovely light espadrilles or sandals. The sense of freedom gained from that little alteration is wonderful, but all that’s on hold now. Cruel, cruel, cruel.
To add salt to the wound, in the truest sense given the vast amount used in making roads passable, many cities will decide to forego the late season expense of removing the snow cleared to the side of the road by using snow blowers and dump trucks. Instead they will employ the cheaper method of plowing the wet, heavy snow out into the street so the fore mentioned Vixen can atone for her cruelty by shining the sun and melting the snow as cars and trucks slosh through it.
This is all fine and dandy, unless you happen to be a pedestrian or cyclist with the slightest hope of arriving at your destination in a dry condition. There was a time when drivers would show some compassion and slow down when approaching a pedestrian strolling along beside a lake-sized puddle near the sidewalk. Now you’re more likely to be faced with a Maui-like wave of salty, dirty, cold, melt water that will only serve to help pay your dry cleaner’s kids’ tuition.
Oh well, no point carping on … it’s here and we’ll just have to deal with it. Cruel … cruel … cruel