Monday, October 6, 2008

Mean Streets North

We mark the passing of time with a series of holidays. These are the days without which the year would be incomplete. Some are official, like the Fourth of July. Some are cultural like Halloween, or Thanksgiving. And some, for instance, the Superbowl, are unrecognized as holidays yet, but celebrated with all the pomp and excess of the classics.

Into this last category falls The First Day of Snow in Anchorage. We celebrate this day with a number of special traditions. Most adults rise from bed, face their windows and curse silently, or aloud, according to their family practice or temperament. (the exception to this rule is anyone who owns an auto body-shop, as we shall presently see.) Shortly after begins the main event, the Morning Commute Demolition Parade!

Groggy and tense, the citizens of our fair city take to the roads and try to recall how to drive on surfaces slick and treacherous. Or not.

With an uncanny regularity the number of fender-benders rockets into the high double digits as the populace skids, caroms, slides and ricochets through red lights, across lanes and into the ditches. It's as if a certain number of automobiles must be sacrificed to the Gods of Winter, and it happens every year, as sure as people get drunk and expose themselves at Mardi Gras.

Today it happened, at least in our neighborhood. I got up this morning, looked out the window, and cursed (silently.) Then I remembered a tune I composed last year for this event. It is, to my knowledge, the only Anchorage-First-Snow-Day carol. I dug it up and present it here for your listening pleasure.

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