Monday, December 27, 2004

Let It Snow

I grew up in Corpus Christi, which is on the southern Texas coast. When I was twelve, it snowed. A tenth of an inch, to be exact, the first measurable snowfall in over twenty years. I built this little snowman about a foot high by scraping snow off every car I could find. Even now, it's a great memory.

So imagine my surprise when a snowstorm hit SOUTH TEXAS for Christmas. It snowed 4.5" in Corpus Christi, which was the largest snowfall on record (dating back about a hundred and fifty years). In Victoria, which is about seventy-five northeast of Corpus Christi, it snowed a FOOT. Victoria had three measurable snowfalls in the last century. It even snowed an inch and a half in Brownsville, which is right on the border with Mexico. None of these events will probably happen again in the next century--that's how rare they were.

So we were very close to having the best White Christmas in Austin ever. Victoria is a little over a hundred miles southeast of Austin, so we had even colder temperatures, but the moisture was concenrated south of us, unfortunately.

On Christmas Eve, I assembled a pedal-powered fire engine, complete with siren and horn, microphone, and a functioning fire hose. After hearing the siren about, oh, a thousand times on Christmas Day, I asked Eli 3.4 to hold off on using it for a while.

"Is it loud?" Eli 3.4 asked.
"Oh, it's loud," I said, and trust me, it's LOUD.
"Well, it's not so loud," he said. "Here." He turns on the siren for several seconds, then speaks into the microphone. "THAT'S NOT SO LOUD, RIGHT?"
"It's loud," I said.
"But listen," he said, and turned on the siren again. "It's only a yittle loud." That's still how he says 'little,' and it always cracks me up.
"That's more than a little loud," I say.
"No, no, no. Let me tell you something. Listen." He turned on the siren. Again. "See?"

Repeat one hundred times.

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