Ice-Age Returns In 20th Century

Cambridge pulled on its longjohns yesterday as the coldest temperatures in memory put the weekend's eight and a half-inch snowstorm on ice.

Mufflered pedestrians looked like Napoleon's army fleeing Russia as they scrambled past the frozen corpses of cars stranded in the snow.

Hundreds of commuters fumed as they waited hours for local garages to start their cars. Cambridge police showered traffic tickets on vehicles blocking the streets, and 1000 cars were towed in Boston yesterday, the Globe reported.

The mercury plunged as low as -20 in suburban areas last night. Some letup is forecast for today, but more snow is expected Wednesday.

Strange Sights

Meanwhile, there were strange sights around the Square. A student leaving Eliot House yesterday saw a Coca-Cola truck unloading bottles of freezing Cokes. As the liquid froze, it expanded, and bottlecaps went ricocheting against the walls of Eliot House.

Another source reported seeing a student in the men's room of Brrr Hall screaming to distract himself from the pain of his thawing ears. The student's problem was compounded by the icicles frozen in his long curly hair.

Fire And Ice

Across the street, at the corner of Cambridge and Quincy Streets, a small crowd gathered to gape at the ice palace that earlier that morning had been an Economics Department office building. Gutted by a blaze, the building was soused with water that quickly froze into fairyland formations. Icicles like blodthirsty pixies held the building in an iron grip.

Radcliffe girls dreading the walk to the Square tried vainly to call taxi companies, but overloaded phone wires as often as not refused to give even a dial tone. "Anyway," one Cliffie explained, "electricity freezes at five degrees."