A Call for Statutory Snow Week

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There is a special bliss in the snow day. Not the half-arsed snow day where schools are closed but everything else remains open so the kids have to spend nine-to-five in the trunk of your car.

No, a full-on, CONDITION WHITE-ULTRA snow day: a complete barometric collapse, a massive weather event accurately forecast to smash into town around 5:00 AM. All there is to do is roll over at six, turn on the radio, and wait to hear that the Avalon Mall, which will only cease operations during catastrophe, is shuttered. And closed, “FOR THE DAY.”

You hear them drop: Avalon School District, dentists, Provincial Government. The Banks, Metro Bus,The Courts … and then bam, “Da Mall.” (MUN used to be last to shut ‘er down, but today’s university customers are especially delicate and the administration won’t risk spooking them.)

You never hear that equipment is coming off the roads because you have fallen back into an untroubled sleep. You wake fully rested, have a leisurely breakfast, a second cup of tea, look out the window and say “Jeez b’y, some storm.” You consider making a pot of soup. You continue listening to the radio for updates.

A blizzard favours radio over any other medium, a big blow from the North East mocks the internet for some reason. You don’t text, you phone. “How’s everyone over there? Good. Same here. Some storm wha’? Alright then.”

Later, once the storm has abated you bundle up, in no rush, and go out to clear the walk and drive. You take your time. You survey the becalmed street. You amble over to chat with your neighbour. “Jeez b’y, some storm.. You have no choice but to, as the kids today say, “chill.”

Newfoundland and Labrador’s nerves are jangled. People are on edge knowing the perpetrators of Muskrat Falls are still at large, the Government is broke, so panic-stricken cuts loom, The City of St. John’s campaign against the downtown is advancing inexorably eastward from that part of Western Water Street they’ve already boarded up, deranged Trump tweets dominate the news, and it turns out the Federal Liberals only had the one handful of fairy dust. We need a break. I propose a mandatory February “Snow Week.”

Health policy experts in the United Kingdom have identified the “maldistribution” of labour as a major public health issue and are advocating a four day work week as an ultimately cost-saving, productivity-boosting remedy. A week off in the depths of our harsh winter recognizes our reality.

It should come after Valentine’s Day, the last meaningful commercial opportunity for retail and restos for a patch. Their losses will be minimal. It’s surely one of the worst periods for snow accumulation. Empty roads and sidewalks will help those responsible get ahead of clearing them.

It will bring families together, allow people to catch up on needed sleep. It could save our busted Government one week in wages. It will encourage fornication to help us meet our demographic challenge.

Mostly it will give we harried bunch a chance to catch our breath, in deep ones.

About Author

Ed Riche

Edward Riche is a writer for the page, stage, and screen. His latest novel, Today I Learned It Was You, was published by House of Anansi Press in 2016. Find him at www.edwardriche.com or on Twitter: @EdwardLRiche

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