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Sunday, December 16, 2012

In Case It's a Three-Dog Night; or, I Worry About Your State of Preparedness


ave you winterized your car yet?

Oh, sure. Everyone knows about winter-weight oil, about checking your tires and replacing your windshield wipers; but have you considered how well appointed your trunk is?

A pile of flannels, the snowmobile boots, the sensible hat with the ear flaps? Sure. Who doesn’t have those things?

And I’m sure we all grew up with the idea that a lighted candle in an old coffee can is sufficient to throw a little heat in your average four-door, so you’ve got that old Folgers can back there as well.

Jumper cables, rope, a battery-operated radio, these are all desirable items as well; and if they aren’t in your car, then I’m sure you’re in the process of pulling it all together.

You just look like the type to me.

But I’m concerned that you’ve not considered the finer points of enforced car squatting.

Have you considered the “Go for Help! I’ve Run Out of Cigarettes!” sign you’re going to need? Because if your car gets stuck in the ditch during a blizzard, you are definitely running out of cigarettes.

And lipstick. You’re going to need lipstick. Once that candle in the coffee can gutters out, you’re going to start to turn blue. Not many people can carry off that look.

Speaking of which, you might wish you had a harmonica with you. When People magazine gets a hold of your I-was-trapped-in-a-car-during-a–blizzard story, you’re going to regret not having worked out the specifics of that blues song you were humming.

Oh, and that reminds me. At some point you are going to wish that you had packed a pint or two of schnapps in your car. Schnapps is a wonderful and warming thing – no matter how false that sense of warmth is – and leads to over-the-top expressions of gratitude when the good-looking tow truck guy pulls you out of the ditch later.

Save some to share.  Not sharing would be awkward.

And winter isn’t about being awkward.

It’s about being prepared to be stranded somewhere.

32 comments:

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

I've got the snow tires on Pearl...that pretty much ensures that we will have no snow on the salt worn streets of Ontario this winter.

TexWisGirl said...

thanks for the memories. we don't even worry about changing our oil weight here.

i remember my car sagging one winter in wis because i had to carry a load of silo staves to keep traction in my rear-wheel drive...

vanilla said...

If winter is about preparedness, I'd say you are in!

fmcgmccllc said...

What about the toilet paper roll with the rubbing alcohol in a coffee tin, that one always scared the hell out of me. And something about melting a chocolate bar. I gave Big Daddy the cute little shovel as I am unemployed at this time. Gonna be 53 here today in Grosse Pointe.

fmcgmccllc said...

Oh, I forgot to tell you I got the Cats book and thanks for signing it, present for my son and his fiancee. They are cat people.

Douglas said...

Yes, I am prepared. Let's see... golf clubs (check), unlined rain jacket, small towels for mopping up sweat, extra golf clubs, extra golf balls, extra golf gloves, dust and small debris....

Yep, completely prepared.

Ms Sparrow said...

I should point out that you don't dare use one of the newer plastic Folger's coffee cans. The fumes from the burning plastic would kill you faster than the cold!

jenny_o said...

Pee bottle.

Just saying.

fishducky said...

Your survival list is actually a list of the reasons I live in California!

Juli said...

During the blizzard of 78 one of the guys at work was stranded. Had to leave his car in the middle of the expressway and walk for miles.

He has half his home packed in his car now and half a case of cheese crackers just in case... at all times. And in the event he doesn't feel like going home to the Mrs... he's all set.

Lin said...

Jenny O. has a point. If you are gonna stock booze in your car, you'd better have a pee bottle.

When you live in Chicago, you gotta be ready for accidents mostly--not getting stranded. I'm forever telling my teen that while it is cute to go without a coat, gloves and hat now....she's gonna be freezin' her who-ha off if she gets rear-ended. At least throw it in the back seat, I tell her. Sigh. It's all about being "cute"...not warm.

jabblog said...

Good advice and you never have to worry about where you left your hat, coat, gloves, boots, schnapps . . .

Eva Gallant said...

As I read this, it's snowing outside. Very depressing!

Bushman said...

Pearl, I just don't think it is ever going to snow enough here in Michigan to even worry about running off the roads. I miss snow!

Red said...

Humorous account of a serious issue. I better go and check my car. I did buy new booster cables.
I've been stuck in an elevator but not a car.

savannah said...

If I lived where it snowed....

But thanks for the information! ;~)
xoxo

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

The booze part could be awkward if the first reson to reach you is a uniformed type but the other things seem like good ideas. lol

Sioux said...

If those "Car Talk" guys are still on NPR, they need to hear about these tips.

Really. And I'm going right now to the liquor store for a giant bottle of Schnapps.

Really.

Daisy said...

1970, April, stranded on the freeway in Massachusetts because of sudden storm. Most missed....pee bottle. It's just too cold to go outside, plus, there were a few hundred other cars/people stranded as well!

HermanTurnip said...

I read that first line as "have you winterized your cat yet?"

Alas, the rest of your posting had nothing to do with preparing cats for the cold of winter.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

How about something to eat??? We don't have to worry about getting stranded in a blizzard here in Georgia, but we do keep a box of munchies in the car.

middle child said...

Oh. Well I'm just here because the title of the post contained the words....Three Dog Night and you know how much I love them and..er..um, bye!

River said...

Winterizing the care here in OZ means checking the windshield wipers are working and you have enough tread on your tyres. Really good people change to winter weight oil.

Tempo said...

Winter here requires a pair of long pants and a wind cheater...thats it. We dont change oils or need anti freeze...

jeanie said...

Hmmm - why I don't do winter.

Where I grew up, the golden rule was always have a water bottle in the car and a pack of licorice in the glove box. Occasionally people would have dates rather than licorice.

Linda O'Connell said...

Winter? We're by passing it for spring. I was rearended last week and my trunk was smashed, so I couldn't have gotten to my stash. Mainstays: Big Gulp cup with a lid, chocolate, and a pink insulated blanket. I WAS stuck in a blizzard on a mountain in Alaska. Young and dumb :)

Jen said...

I have a friend in Idaho who always travels with blankets, water, & munchies b/c her dad would let minor maintenance tasks go until they caused a breakdown. Gotta be prepared!

But her most important supply ... at least one novel. I concur.

Thanks for the visit to my masak.

Suldog said...

As a truly hooked and idiotic smoker, I always keep an extra pack (and waterproof matches) in the trunk. I hadn't thought about the schnapps, though. Thanks for the idea!

Far Side of Fifty said...

I need to get new coffee cans in both vehicles..my candles got too warm in that coffee can and melted which in turn got my half roll of TP yucky..and the chocolate in there looked funny...the matches were not even any good. That coffee can can keep you from freezing to death...I have heated seats now and think gosh..I should keep the car full of gas all the time now just incase:)

the walking man said...

I think you need to explain to the uninitiated exactly what a three dog night is. Then get into in the ditch without cigarettes thing.

Pearl said...

Dang it, the walking man is right!

Do you know what a three-dog night is, besides a rockin' 70s band?!

A three-dog night was the Inuit and the Australian Aborigines term for a very very cold night, one in which you needed not just one, not two, but three dogs to sleep with in order to stay warm/alive.

Daisy said...

This post made me laugh, Pearl. I do indeed have a coffee can with a candle in it in my car. Of course, I never remember to take it out during the summer, so the candle has melted into a rather odd shape. :-) Hope you have a great day today!