New England has been buried under twenty feet of snow for a few weeks now.

Maybe that’s just my plow pile, or God’s way of saying “Stop speaking in those silly accents. I can’t understand you.” He’s frozen us in blocks of ice while he waits for our grammar to improve. Meanwhile, we pray for sunshine and a few days of above-freezing temperatures.

We’re having the kind of weather that makes those who don’t believe in  global warming a little bit smug. “Save the polar bears? There’s plenty of ice. Send them to New England.”

I think we’ve stolen the North’s snow. The earth turned on its access just a little bit after the midterm elections, placing Maine on top, knocking Alaska off the spot as the “State Closest to Santa.” I hear they even moved the Iditarod due to lack of snow. Someone said it they moved it to Boston. I can’t watch. We’ve got a blizzard warning here.

Although Boston closed down the T for a day, the snow isn’t enough to stop New England drivers. Boston and Rhode Island have some of the worst drivers in the nation. A few feet of snow won’t cure that.

On a good day, Boston has questionable rules, like “If there’s traffic and your middle finger works, you may use it to signal,” and, “During rush hour, feel free to pass on the right in the breakdown lane. If someone’s broken down in said lane, squeeze by them anyway and say, ‘FU, get that #$%%$ing car off the #$%$^% road, A#$%H@!#.'”

Massachusetts is the only state where I’ve ever seen passing lanes on exit ramps. The speed limit is only a suggestion.

Rhode Islanders drivers are worse than Boston drivers–we don’t read the signs. We create rules to suit us personally then expect the world to obey. And they’d better. We’re the state of “lobstas and mobstas,” and I can guarantee you there are no lobstas in February.

“When taking a left-hand turn across a four-lane main road, pull out into the first two. Traffic should stop and let you through the other two.” There’s also a “no yield” rule. Traffic merging onto the highway must squeeze in effectively. It’s up to the cars already on the highway to let them in.

I’ve broken down the top ten rules to help you drive in New England in case you’re out in the storm.

New England Driving Rules for Snow:

1. Tailgating is allowed. You want to feel that sense of community–you’re all beating the snow together.
2. If you get nervous driving on the highway, it’s only natural. Slam on your breaks. Slow down. It’s what brakes are for.
3. When driving up a hill, stop to let your car rest. It’s a long way to the top–in driving, as in life.
4. Your car may seem like it has low clearance indicating you should stay home, but the truth is, any car can get through snow banks with enough people pushing it. The people behind you will always help push you out of the way.
5. The car with the most dents has the right of way when pulling out into snow traffic.
6. Blinkers are optional, since you can do a 360 in the road and turn any way you’d like.
7. Gravity is the force that clears snow from your vehicle’s roof. Don’t worry about brushing it off. You might fall and get hurt.
8. Even though you have plenty of other food in your house, speed to the store and get your bread and milk. Other drivers will understand and yield to you so you don’t lose out on the last loaf on the shelf.
9. Snow banks are inconvenient when it comes to pulling out of side streets. In snow situations, you may pull directly into the main road without looking. People on the road will let you in. (Refer to Snow Rule 5).
10. The black stuff on the road may look like ice, but it’s just God’s way of getting you to your destination quicker. Don’t slow down, you’ll make it.
11. Never take a parking space with a cone or chair in it. If you’re visiting, you might not know that means “dibs.” Someone has shoveled out his or her car and raced to the store for bread or milk (Refer to rule 8). That is still their spot as if they had placed their five-year old child there to hold it for them. If you park there, please call your local insurance company to ask the cost of new windows.

I hope these regional cultural tips help you enjoy your New England snow experience.  As for me, I’m trying escape the snow for the week. I’ve blinkered for every turn, brushed the snow off my car, and waved people in front of me. I’ve smiled and driven with caution. I’ve been storing up good travel karma for weeks in hopes of being able to hop on a plane and catch some rays.

I just received a travel notifier that my flight will be leaving ten minutes earlier than scheduled, so I’m hoping my good travel karma is working.


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