An Altruistic, Objective Analysis of Playing in a Snowstorm

Filed in Local News, Reviews by on December 21, 2009 0 Comments

When Mayor Menino declared a snow emergency this past weekend, I knew that an important task had been set before me. With the city at a standstill—its residents cooped indoors, mountains of canned goods at hand, fearing the worst—I, in a spirit of altruistic civil service, ventured out into the blustery unknown to see firsthand whether or not it was safe to be outdoors.

To adequately inform the citizenry, I needed to perform a series of carefully calibrated, variable controlled tests. As a man of science (and OCD) these experiments were conducted with the utmost scientific standards in mind to ensure the most objective results possible for me to relay to the waiting, watching citizens back home.

The results were astounding.

By midday on Sunday, the snow was just starting to taper off. Biting gusts still sluiced through the streets; snow fell sideways. Despite two layers of gloves, my hands stung, then quickly went numb.

Spurning the roads, I made my way to Stanley Ringer Park in Allston. The park was empty save for myself and two people and their dogs.

Here the experiments began.

First, I conducted a simple test of the snow’s resistance versus that of normal ground. After gauging wind direction and velocity—and compensating for my uphill trajectory—I set off at a sprint toward the enclosed playground atop the park’s giant hill. Though onlookers—had there been any nearby—would have assumed my smile was one of glee, it was not; it was, in fact, one of the many carefully calibrated tools necessary to gather my data, a tool whose function is so obvious that there is no need for me to reiterate its use here.

Several times I stumbled somewhat and, to cushion my fall, spun onto my back and rolled a bit in the snow. At this point in the experiment, there was much more smiling, again, solely for scientific purposes.

This completed, I entered the playground for the next round of experiments. A snow covered slide was rapidly mounted and, after a brief calibration of my tools, analyzed. From this I gathered that, while the slick snow only marginally aided in my speed of descent, it exponentially increased the degree of fun felt by sliding. Moat of the latter observation I attributed to the massive snowbank into which I slid; the pile was large enough to swallow my legs up to my waist.

The next experiment involved extricating myself from that snowbank without allowing snow to slip down my pants.  That effort, while well intentioned, was doomed from the start.

Continuing my selfless exploration of the snowstorm, I trudged on through the sparsely wooded section atop the hill. Snow swirled like a swarm of white insects, billowing over untrammeled paths. For a few minutes, the bombastic nature of the earlier tests was forgotten amid this serene seclusion.

As I returned home, further experiments—all of them incredibly beneficial to the general populace and, I must say, conducted with a truly selfless, generous motive—were performed to round out my research.

Among those findings, I discovered that the snow was no good for snowballs; too particulate, it packed poorly and dissipated midair before reaching its target. Also, I found that stopping at a supermarket solely for hot cocoa mix and eggnog was a perfect remedy for lingering chills.

My research completed, it was time to get indoors and analyze my findings. An anxious city, buried in snow and plagued by trepidation, awaited my news—and the news was good.

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