Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Kevin Riordan: Two storms too much of a sometimes-good thing

Traffic was almost non-existent on Rt 295 North Westville as heavy snow continued on Wednesday afternoon.  ( David M Warren / Staff Photographer )
Traffic was almost non-existent on Rt 295 North Westville as heavy snow continued on Wednesday afternoon. ( David M Warren / Staff Photographer )

Two giant snowstorms?

Two words.



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    Trust me: My take on this disagreeable double weather whammy is not only fair and balanced, but also twice as true as Fox News and MSNBC combined.

    And everyone everywhere - every last person, period - totally agrees with me.

    I know because I read it.

    On my palm.

    Just kidding. I took a poll.

    "I totally agree with you," says Louise Perlman, a retired special-education teacher from Margate, as we chat outside Brio Tuscan Grille on the eve of Blizzard 2.0. "Inappropriate, unacceptable, and I hate it."

    "How can I disagree?" agrees Warren Weiner, 74, a retired marketing consultant who lives in Philadelphia.

    "I totally agree," adds Weiner's wife, Ethel, a 71-year-old retired office manager. Meanwhile, Perlman's husband, Michael, 68, a retired IT consultant, readily joins our overwhelming consensus while offering an observation I simply must affirm.

    "No matter how many times it snows," he says, "people are always at the supermarket getting stuff. You'd think we'd have enough by now."

    Inspired, a certain columnist/pollster heads directly for Wegmans. The parking lot of the Cherry Hill store swarms with people pushing stocked-up carts, including Dan Robertson of Haddon Township, a sales representative.

    Because Robertson is originally from Syracuse, N.Y. - a national if not global headquarters of expertise about snow - I must agree with his judgment about what's inappropriate and unacceptable, weather-wise. And not just because I'm a Syracuse University grad.

    "When it snows around here, nobody knows what to do," Robertson says. "I'm not worried about me and my driving, but I'm worried about the people who drive the same way in a blizzard as they do any other time."

    Agreed. During a blizzard in South Jersey, everyone but Dan and me either drives too fast or too slow. Sometimes simultaneously.

    Speaking of opposites, not only do two Cherry Hill bloggers, on either end of the political spectrum, agree with me about winter's one-two punch, but they also even agree with each other. Sort of.

    "As a liberal, I'm outraged," says Jay Lassiter (www.bluejersey.com). "Chris Christie promised us change . . . and he's brought us two blizzards."

    Says Dan Cirucci (dancirucci.blogspot.com), "I don't want our health-care system to be like Canada, and I don't want our weather to be like Canada, either."

    Thanks, guys.

    Back to my poll.

    "I agree with you," says Jossanna Santiago, a 30-year-old retail supervisor from Camden having a smoke outside Moorestown Mall. "It is inappropriate, because on Saturday I missed my money. I couldn't get to work."

    "I agree, but actually I kind of like it," says Cinnaminson resident Maureen Ambos, a 63-year-old retired public school employee.

    Cathy Van Curen, a salesclerk at Arts Plus in Collingswood, agrees. With Ambos.

    "In the snow, the kids have fun, and people kind of come together at home, hang out, and have hot chocolate," the 45-year-old Haddonfield resident says. "If we had maybe five storms in a row, that would be really tiring."

    A blizzard, or even two in a row, serves to "slow life down a little bit," chimes in Van Curen's coworker Jessica Hart.

    To Jennifer Stephenson, a 26-year-old Mantua resident who works as a restaurant server, it's not the double blizzard that's unacceptable and inappropriate.

    It's the hysteria.

    "I'm so sick of going to the grocery stores and they're sold out of everything," Stephenson says. "I see people are cramming water bottles into their carts. It's going to snow. There's some water for you, right there."

    I couldn't agree more.


    Contact Kevin Riordan at 856-779-3845 or kriordan@phillynews.com.


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