It’s been a long time since we’ve had any actual huffing-puffing blizzards like the storms that dumped on us this week.
And a lot of you Spokane drivers have apparently lost your snow-navigating skills.
I’m telling you, it was four-wheeled insanity out on the South Hill streets Wednesday.
Slipping and sliding. Tires a-spinning. Car windows crusting over with ice …
And that was just me behind the wheel of “Big Maroon,” the snow car I bought a couple years ago.
My lovely wife, Sherry, thinks I need another old heap like Republicans need another presidential debate.
Not true. Big Maroon – a 1990 Lincoln Town Car – was a steal because it cost only 500 bucks and came with a brand new set of Blizzak snow tires.
Man, those Blizzaks could take you across Antarctica.
If Big Maroon didn’t drip so much oil, that is.
Thing is, I didn’t plan on doing any driving Wednesday. The storm was blowing so nasty that I decided to stay inside by the fire.
Then my sweet Mom called to say she was out of some of the pills she needs.
So, like a good son, I tugged on my Sorel boots and took Big Maroon on a pharmaceutical run.
The frantic scene I witnessed on the roads inspired me to create Doug’s Snow Job Quiz, a multiple-choice exam designed to test your winter driving knowledge.
So please answer the following questions honestly. We’ll evaluate your scores at the bottom.
1. The term “snowbird” refers to …
a. Those chicken-hearts who spend their winters in Arizona – 1 igloo.
b. The annual influx of eagles at Lake Coeur d’Alene – 3 igloos.
c. That middle-fingered salute you wag at idiots who can’t drive in snow – 5 igloos.
2. Becoming a Spokane snowplow operator requires …
a. Years of professional driving experience – 1 igloo.
b. The willingness to work all hours under extreme conditions – 3 igloos.
c. A sadistic desire to turn every driveway entrance into an impassable avalanche – 5 igloos.
3. The bigger the snowstorm …
a. The larger the shapeless mass on the TV weather radar – 1 igloo.
b. The easier the forecast – 3 igloos.
c. The more a TV weathercaster will act like a gibbering fool – 5 igloos.
4. The best implement for removing snow from a windshield is …
a. A scraper specifically designed for the task – 1 igloo.
b. A debit card or used McDonald’s sack – 3 igloos.
c. Hit the “defrost” button. The faster you get going the faster things’ll melt – 5 igloos.
5. A good rule of thumb for snowy driving is to …
a. Allow an extra 15 minutes to get wherever you’re going – 1 igloo.
b. Stay an extra car length behind the driver in front of you – 3 igloos.
c. Reduce your speed 5 mph and text your friends about why you’re going to be so late – 5 igloos.
6. Every car should have a winter survival kit containing …
a. A snow shovel – 1 igloo.
b. Some food and a blanket – 3 igloos.
c. One large empty coffee can – 5 igloos.
7. When driving in a snowstorm, stay tuned to local radio for …
a. Winter weather advisories – 1 igloo.
b. Street and school closures – 3 igloos.
c. Additional hot air from blowhard Mike Fitzsimmons – 5 igloos.
8. A winter driver’s best friend is his …
a. Quality snow tires – 1 igloo.
b. Wipers that work – 3 igloos.
c. Paid-up AAA membership – 5 igloos.
9. The best advice for winter driving is still …
a. Only drive if you must – 1 igloo.
b. Never drive faster than conditions allow – 3 igloos.
c. Park your car and wait until spring – 5 igloos.
10. If your car suddenly loses control, you should …
a. Steer into the slide – 1 igloo.
b. Tap your brakes lightly – 3 igloos.
c. Scream “Holy %$^#!!” and reach for the coffee can – 5 igloos.
A score of 10-25 igloos indicates you’re one of those overconfident know-it-alls the rest of us would like to push off a cliff.
Scoring 30 to 40 igloos suggests that if you’re not on Prozac, you should probably look into it.
If you scored a perfect 50 igloos, congratulations! You are definitely a Spokane-area driver.
Blink your lights and honk if you see Big Maroon coming.
That should give me enough time to flip you the snowbird and swerve out of your way.