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Glimpses of Inspiration

North Lake Tahoe

 "Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!"      Lewis Carroll


"Let your fiction grow out of the land beneath your feet."   Eudora Welty

Published

"Chicken In Turkey"

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"Tiny Tattoos"

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"Haunted By Glue Guns"

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"Smokey in the boys' room"

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(contributor, page 27)"I Salute You, Mother"

As published in the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza 2/22/08

 

Snow Rules Are No Rules

Heart racing, I glanced again at my rearview mirror. The SUV loomed darkly, blocking out the brightness usually reflected. I quickly looked away. The movie "Duel" with Dennis Weaver, came to mind, a semi’s grill haunting his rearview mirror for most of the movie.

The presence on my bumper, urging me to go faster, persisted. On this snowy day, 30 mph wasn’t exactly crawling on the stretch between Incline and Crystal Bay. Had I not been bound on both sides by a snow wall, I would have gladly pulled over. I sped up a little, knowing I couldn’t possibly go fast enough to appease my tailgater.

My anger mounted at the bully behind me. Who was this dangerous nuisance? Did he know he’s not supposed to pass on this road? And then he did it. He pulled alongside me on a slick, curvy road. Jerk! I thought, looking straight ahead so he couldn’t execute the non-verbal communication he undoubtedly wanted to share.

I could imagine this guy’s defense, had he been pulled over. “What do you mean No Pass zone, officer? There are no lines on the road.” Which, of course, was true. He was driving under the influence of Snow Rules: No Line, No Law.

Snow Rules operate on the same principle that sweeps through classrooms when a substitute replaces the teacher. Lawlessness. The change in routine triggers an abandonment of convention, and the intoxicating urge to be a little wild. Such insobriety corrupts even those who are otherwise well behaved.

Take parking, for instance. While most people attempt to park according to lines conjured from memory (though never quite achieving the same orderliness), creative parking abounds in snow-blanketed lots. I, myself, a hopeless rule-follower, succumbed to the lure of Snow Rules. The scene was Diamond Peak. The mission, picking up my little skier. A free space up at the very front beckoned. With no lines to guide me, I redefined “free space” on the spot: My car fit, and other cars could squeeze by. Besides, if I didn’t park there, someone else would. In spite of being armed with the Snow Rules defense and a healthy dose of justification, I feared being discovered. I envisioned returning to my car, the snow on the pavement having melted, thus exposing me as a miscreant.

Following Snow Rules had raised my blood pressure, but as my tailgater sped off around the bend, I knew he was likely basking in the afterglow of his transgression. I just hoped the pavement became visible soon, even if the melting snow took convenient parking with it. We’re all better off with the writing on the road.