A week ago, the first snowstorm of winter hit the Twin Cities, dropping a fat, fluffy load of angel excrement across our fine metro area during the afternoon rush hour. Highway travel was rendered futile, and the pace of traffic slowed to a rhythm befitting a morbidly obese man methodically working through a Chinese buffet. It took Bridgette and I two hours to get from our workplace in Eden Prairie to our home to north Minneapolis. It was most certainly worse than the recent Mumbai terror attacks.
During yesterday’s rush hour, the heavenly hosts again adorned our region with a 3-inch layer of fine white snowfeces. Again, traffic snarled and slowed. Again, curse words were shouted into the heavens with great vigor.
But this time, we were ready.
Setting a goal to somehow make it from work to home without using any of the major freeways, Bridgette and I set off on the side streets. Armed only with a vaguely-helpful map and an increasingly ineffective set of windshield wipers, my wife and I were as one as we sped through the quiet, well-to-do neighborhoods of the wealthy southwest suburbs. She, shouting out arbitrary street names and directions at the last moment by the light of the dome light, and I, pumping the brakes and deftly avoiding collisions with bridge embankments.
Our Hyundai slipped through the darkened boulevards and alleyways as we guided it north and east with my trusty astrolabe (given to me in my childhood by a mysterious, wizened miser who I presumed to be one of my uncles). Slowly, inexorably, we made our way closer and closer to our beloved home, with its drafty windows and unintentionally slanting awnings. It was as if we could hear our cats meowing for us in the frosty night air, impatient for their filthy cat paste we set out for them nightly in disgust.
At last, at 6:31, we pulled into the familiar confines of our garage. Surrounded with crappy lawn maintenance equipment and unused recycling bins, we were home. We had done it, somehow traveling from Eden Prairie to north Minneapolis without getting on a highway. We were like Ponce De León, except for the racism.
And it only took us 1 hour and 51 minutes.