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Snoway to Go: This Was the Week That Wasn't

Savoir-Faire on Snow

By Michael K. Savit

My first impulse was to say "Snow way!" After all, why would I want to write a column about snow?

For one thing, I'm a second-semester senior with a great deal on my mind. My undergraduate days are reduced with every passing flake, and I have far more important things to do than write about snow. Things like eating, sleeping and figuring out how many times I've seen each episode of "Happy Days".

Secondly, I don't know anything about snow, a statement that many who have read this column the past four years would say applies to sports in general. As in, "What's he doing writing a sports column? He doesn't know anything about sports."

Just yesterday, in fact (funny how these coincidences work) I received a letter in my mailbox to that same effect. Excerpts read as follows:

"I like sports too. But I am too busy to attend as many sporting events as I would like to. So I reply on your column to stay in tune with athletics on campus. To start with, since your title reveals your European or Canadian descent, I think you manage English remarkably well as a second language. Furthermore, I marvel at the number and variety of events you relate. Who could imagine a college with a greater sports smorgasbord?

"Last year you told of the varsity library team grappling with World War I draft evaders. And there was some sort of fall rodeo up in Hanover, New Hampshire. In the dead of winter the startling eat squad made it through salad plate #12.

"This year is highlighted by the fabulous give-and-go strategy of the first-string Christmas shoppers. Also, I have followed religiously your see-saw struggle with the Irishman in that no-talk game. I don't fully understand the rules there. Is the object to talk to yourself the most or is it just not to talk?

"One thing I've particularly watched for this year: What ever happened to that fellow who practiced jumping on broken glass in the dining halls?

"I would love to get out and see more events around the campus, but I'm in a bit of a bind this semester. You see, I signed up for Phys. 12 thinking it was Physical Education. I look forward to more of your stories. In fact, I get my Crimson delivered with page five on top."

Finally, not only do I know nothing about it, but I don't even like snow, a distaste that goes back to that afternoon in seventh grade when the class bully hit me in the nose with a snowball the size of a pregnant Swedish meatball because I wouldn't let him copy my math homework. I particularly don't like this snow. Now it's one thing for the snow to cause this week to be canceled. (It will be replayed at a later date). It's one thing for the snow to cause the hot water to be turned off. It's another thing entirely for the snow to force us not only to eat the dining hall food, but also to serve it. At least we had chicken just four times this week.

Despite what I considered these very excellent reasons, the voice at the other end of the line persisted. He probably thought I was giving him a snow job. Besides, the day's sporting activities had all been called off, and there'd be nothing to put on the sports page if I didn't come through.

My first impulse slid under a drift. "Sure," I said, my second impulse ski-jumping into the forefront, "I'll write a column about snow."

I hope you've caught my drift.

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