Wednesday, January 09, 2002


First Idiot of the Season

As I write this, there is someone stranded on Chautauqua Lake with his snowmobile. Now, it was in the 40’s today and the lake just froze over within the two weeks, so this guy must have been a real winner to think it was safe to go out on the thin ice with his snow toy. You could almost hear the exasperation and holding in of laughter in the scanner dispatcher’s voice as he said, “Person stranded on ice with snowmobile, waving arms, looking for assistance.” If only we had an Ice Pool going.

When I worked at the radio station, we set up a non-monetary pool for when we thought the first person would go through the ice on Chautauqua Lake. Inevitably, there would always be some person who thought it was fine to go out when the ice was nowhere near as thick as it should be. I think the first ice-breaker was in February that year. The genius of some out-of-towners shone brightly last year when three people decided to cross the ice at its weakest point and the day after the temperature rose to 60 degrees. Naturally, all three went through the ice, lost their snowmobiles, but fortunately didn’t suffer any injuries other than getting wet and cold.

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