The city has not issued a formal estimate of how much this double-play Snow Monster has drained its coffers, but I’m going ahead with a Scientific Wild-Assed Guess of $15 million, as follows:
- Overtime for sand truck and snowplow crews: $1,250,000.
- Sand: $1,362.
- Repairing 90 percent of the fresh potholes: $13,748,638.
I figure ten percent of the potholes will be missed entirely, or will have to be repaired yet again after a spring rain.
Speaking of snow, whoever first described something as “pure as the driven snow” had obviously never driven in any. Rather a lot of folks who found the stuff amazingly filthy were lined up at car washes today, which I didn’t find inexplicable, exactly, but it seemed like such a waste: you can’t go 500 yards without running into a puddle of something wet and splattery, and there goes the $2/$5/$40/whatever you paid for a few minutes of the pristine.
And then, having threaded my way through the running water at the supermarket parking lot, I began the day’s Shopping Adventure, which contained something perhaps a little more inexplicable: youngish couple (with smallish child) are positioned in the laundry-products aisle — no, not in the middle of it, thank heaven — and while she watches with what appears to be amused detachment, he opens up jugs of detergent at random and sniffs.
“There are times when I think they’re all pretty rancid,” I offered, to no discernible effect.
I didn’t hang around for an explanation — I grabbed a bottle of Era and moved on — but I’m guessing it’s something like this: family was visiting his mom and dad, they got stuck there when the snow came down, and now that they’re home, he wants that same smell he got when his mom did their wash for them.
This could easily be solved by a phone call (“Yeah, we were wondering what brand of detergent you use”), but guys don’t ask directions either.