It’s snow, folks, not nuclear fallout.

Had to make a run to the airport this morning, and for the second day in a row there was snow. Certainly, it’s important to be careful on the roads, especially early in the morning.

But, traffic on 101 was going 25 MPH … Traffic on I-5 was going less than 40 MPH from Olympia to Fife, both on the way north and even on the way south later in the day. It was like I was stuck on I-5 near Chehalis during the holidays …

I know we don’t see snow very much these days, but, people, it’s not polonium-210.

Only, here’s my real issue: There was NO ICE OR SNOW ON THE MOTORWAY. There was nothing on the asphalt where cars drive that can justify this arthritic and narcoleptic pace. I wouldn’t have recommended driving at unsafe speeds, but in all honesty it was safe to at least drive the speed limit.

Sure, there was snow on the shoulders, and maybe a bit around the turtles between lanes. Sure, there were accidents that hadn’t been cleared and some emergency vehicles with flashing lights, oh so distracting and dazzling that people must stop chewing their gum for fear of losing control of their body with over stimulation. But, the roads were safe at that point.

Not only that, but the number of people hanging out in the left lane, going at glacier-like speeds (meaning so slow they appeared to be receeding backwards, due to global warming) was beyond reason.

I had one nice fellow slam over from an onramp into the left lane, nearly clipping the front of my car … and then proceed to SLOW DOWN with no one in front of him in the lane to the point where all other lanes were going faster … and then he just hung out in front of me in the left lane … being slow … like … molasses … for … no … good … reason.

It’s not hard to drive. Perhaps it’s so easy that people cannot seem to be bothered with learning to drive well. Certainly it is too much to hope that people be courteous and thoughtful drivers, instead of oblivious and narcissistic.

Apparently, anything that requires people to be conscious while driving … snow, for example, or a roundabout … is beyond the average person’s ability to cope, and they panic as they realize they are over their heads with the challenge of it all like turkeys in the rain.

I sure hope that they manage to pull into some rest area along the way in order to take some lithium, and that they don’t require too much therapy to recover. At the very least, they should pull to the side of the road and have some chocolate to soothe their PTSD.

Perhaps for all residents of Washington, at least this side of the mountains, two years of public service should be mandatory where they are forced to go drive into the mountains and ski. You know, a little aversion therapy for the snowflake phobia that appears to have become an epidemic would do us all good … and give people a good reason to actually use some of that sporting equipment that lives unused in the basement year-round.

As long as there’s this trend toward institutionalizing corporate welfare … REI could become a new branch of government.