Eye of the Proverbial Storm, or, Too Legit to Quit (MMX Remix)


Here we are in beautiful suburban Washington, D.C. Thirty inches of Mother Nature's finest white on the ground. Schools closed since mid-day Friday. Most major roads just now passable. Shit, the federal government has been closed for the last two days. Thousands of families have been without power or plowed roads since the brunt hit on Saturday.

We are expecting 20 additional inches of snow tonight into tomorrow. As George W. Bush once said, "Bring 'em on!"

We've been lucky where I am, however. We have only had to endure two short power outages (6 and 4 hours). But we also have a fireplace and a gas stove. Also, where I live, the roads get plowed (high-income people who know how to make a stink and who vote, see?).

People have generally been in Help Thy Neighbor mode but you see the social fabric getting shaky with regard to parking spaces and grocery store manners. On one hand, I was at my local supermarket and saw that there were four plain bagels remaining when I heard a woman loudly and sadly sigh. I asked, "did you want plain bagels?" She kind of shrugged and conceded that I was there first. I said, "how 'bout I split what's left with you?" She acted as if I gave her a gold coin she was so delighted. We both soon shared that our respective daughters only eat plain bagels.

On the other hand, I did have to remind a couple at Target® that the keystone to an orderly civilization was the attention paid to the commercial queue. They apologized.

My daughter estimated that if each shovelful of snow/ice/slush weighs 10 pounds (conservative). And I've shoveled 500 repetitions each day (conservative). Then I have personally shoveled 15,000 pounds of brimstone into the icy furnaces of hell. Am I complaining? Nope. This is what I do. We keep the sidewalks and streets clear. We dig each other out. We free ice dams. We restore supplies. We cut wood. We start fires. We clear hydrants. We go and get people in our tribe who have no power or heat and we bring them to our homes.

We are the Real Men of Kentlands (RMOK).

From the El Manniyer:

I would like to see you write a post on the RMOK, not about you and I, but about old heads like Barney, Pete, Dick, and such. I want you to compare them with some of these other "men." The more I think about them, the more pissed I get how fucking lazy most of these pseudo-men really are. How useless the are too the species.

This is officially Man Time. Time to demonstrate why women married us in the first place; to haul stuff and shovel like a motherfucker. To use chainsaws, Jeeps, and spades like we know what the fuck we're doing. Not sit in the house and do arts and crafts with the freakin' kids or catch up on old movies (that is just bonus stuff).

By rights we should be able to knock down doors and beat some manliness into these non-RMOK bastards.

- Manniyer

Makes a real man want to puke.

Manniyer Mark, I feel you. I agree 100%. It is not a time to fend for yourself or hunker down and cower as many fellas seem to have done. They are barely freeing their own vehicles, throwing the snow into the middle of the street, and putting chairs and cones in "their" spaces (we take that shit away thus making the public streets free to the public since our taxes should not support private property). In fact, I didn't see a lot of guys doing much of anything. At all. We were questioning if they were even in town. But lo and behold, they were. These dudes send their wives to go solo to free giant SUVs from icy windrow.

I asked one mom-friend, "Is Tom in town?" She said, "Well, Tom said that we probably didn't need to clear the car because it's only going to get plowed back in." I said, "Well once this compacts overnight, you're going to have to chop the car out with pick axes." She rolled her eyes and said, "I know!" I said, "Get him on it, he's making men look bad. Go shame him." Thirty minutes later, Tom was doing some work. With wife and two small kids (who were almost killed by a wayward plow). AND YOU DON'T DRIVE A CAR WITH THREE FEET OF SNOW ON THE ROOF!

Manniyer mentioned Dick (in title image, above), Pete, and Barney. Neighbors who are 72, 50, and 58, respectively. I have a very hard time beating any of the three out to put work in in the morning. Pete is a workhorse. Barney is the slow and steady philosopher. And Dick is just pure scholar-gentleman. As Barney said, "It's a time to DO more than your own personal sphere of living. It's a time to DO as much as you can for all that you can." According to Dick, "I live for this."

Even my OCD and perhaps addled neighbor cleared everyone out before even attempting to free his car. I saw him out at 6:30. I finished dinner, put my boots on and gave him a half-hour of my time. In the dark. In the cold. Then Pete appeared. OF COARSE (sic) DOYE™!

When I received the last low-on-power report from my friends in Bethesda who were out of power going on 42 hours and the house was at 41 degrees and the father was still stuck out of the country, who did I call? Brett! Brett rolled up in a heavily modified Jeep with winch and shovel. He said, "all roads are passable to me." And we went and got my friends (people Brett's never met) and brought them to my house. When I thanked him a second time, Brett said, "You already thanked me. This is why I have this vehicle."

So to Pete, Dick, Barney, and Brett. I toast you as men who I hope to someday make proud by emulating your selfless, proactive, intelligent, and community-minded manliness.

You are the RMOK. We are RMOK. Why do we do it? Because it's what we do. Life's not about fucking around all the time. We work. We share. We do fun shit. We die.