Thursday, January 29, 2009

My Dear Mr. President:

As a fellow transplant from Illinois, I feel it is my duty to educate you about the geographical and topographical differences between Northern Illinois and Washington, D.C. I, too thought the Washington Region was full of scardy-cats and driving wimps -- UNTIL -- I tried to navigate Wisconsin Avenue one snowy Sunday. This was years ago and my thinking changed instantly when my Pinto station wagon started sliding sideways back down the hill after I gingerly stopped for a light. Do I need to point out that Northern Illinois is F L A T? Sure, there are plenty of opportunities to slip and slide, even on flat pavement. I took driver's ed. during January in Northern Illinois, so I learned how to put a car into a spin and to correct it. But then, with the introduction of anti-locking brakes, the techniques I learned back then no longer apply. Nevertheless, stopping and starting on an icy incline does not compare with doing the same on flat pavement. Another important factor you need to remember: pavement around here is different than it is in Chicago. Blacktop is smoother and conceals black ice far more effectively than the rough, gravel-infused pavement back home. Next snowy/icy day (if you can escape from your handlers), have a go at driving something other than your armoured-tank-limo around the region. Virginia and Maryland have some high, long hills as does the District. Your girls would no doubt have been safe riding to school in their escorted SUVs, but children walking, riding on buses or being transported by Mom in the family car faced real danger yesterday. I'm thrilled that you and your family are here. Please keep in mind that you now live in an entirely different world -- not always a good thing -- but different. We love our region and don't take kindly to folks putting us down for things they don't yet understand. Living where we do, we're already in a bulls eye as far as terrorists are concerned. Please don't chide us for avoiding preventable injuries. Yours sincerely, A Lady in Foggy Bottom


nutmeg96 said...

Good points, all. There are a couple of other issues here, too. One is that we get a lot of icy days here. Having spent four years in Syracuse, I've got no problem driving in snow, but ice is no joke and there's nothing you can do to counteract it on the road. The other issue is all the southern transplants who have no idea what they're doing out there on the road -- they're more dangerous than anything else! As a result, you won't find me complaining about cancelations around here, either. :)

pm.kozak said...

Mamby pambies!!