Let's say you had a meeting at Perimeter yesterday. You decided to take that meeting, shrugging off passive mentions on the news about an inch of snow wafting its way to Atlanta. Around 1 p.m. you stop to eat at Panera Bread for the guaranteed Wi-Fi. The patrons joyously crowd the windows, like Christmas kids at retail windows, as the first flakes fall. But suddenly the parking lot jams with cars. Hmm, that's odd. You try to join them, to leave, to get the hell back downtown immediately because this one white inch has spurred some kind of panic. A half-hour later you give up, return to the eatery, where the employees are getting nervous and patrons are meeting each other, sharing stories of Snow Jam '82 and Typical Winter In Buffalo. But the traffic in the parking lot doesn't dissipate — not for two, three, four hours. The cutesy euphoria that accompanies fresh snow morphs into a sort of cabin fever. You think, "Everyone must be home by now. I'll take back roads through Buckhead. I'll outsmart everyone with shortcuts through Midtown. Downtown isn't that far away — what, eight miles?" Your Tuesday is screwed but at least you'll reach your warm destination soon. You are an idiot.
Five hours later, starving and exhausted from so much white-knuckle driving, you reach the gloriously empty Peachtree Street in Midtown, its sheen golden under street lights. Your cell phone is almost dead. You have nearly slid into a neighborhood near Marist School, been kicked out of a closing Chinese restaurant, considered parking and sheltering in place on Piedmont Road and punched your steering wheel twice. You feel lucky.
The sports radio station has made a business of fielding calls from similarly screwed commuters, and thank God for that, because it brings delicious levity. It alleviates your worries of running out of gas and hoofing to a church for warmth and sleep. You hear their stories and feel fortunate, almost guilty. You are finally moving, and they are not. In five hours you have not seen a government vehicle spreading salt, sand or using a shovel. You did just see a black Lamborghini abandoned in Buckhead. That's something to tell the grandkids — a Lamborghini covered in ice and road-ick, during the day that two inches paralyzed your city. You shake your head. You laugh deliriously. You've seen more exotic sports cars today than salt trucks.
WINTER BLUNDERLAND, AS TOLD BY TWITTER: