Wouldn't you know it? I made fun of Knoxvillians freaking out and refusing to drive in winter weather, and then the next day, we all tried to drive in winter weather, and everybody ran off the road. In our defense, there wasn't any snow, so how were we to know?

It turns out that it rained Monday night. But the rain wasn't snow, so we weren't worried. Then, after the rain, it got really cold. And unbeknownst to just about everybody, the wet roads all froze. And the city woke up on Tuesday to cold yet clear conditions, and foolishly tried to go to work. And that was about the time everybody slid into a ditch.

Well, not everybody. Tony called me on his way to work and told me not to even bother trying to leave the house. The roads were completely iced. He managed to make it to work because his job is just down the street, but he told me that he slid the whole way and passed several people who were stranded sideways in people's lawns. He thinks he made it because of his superior winter-weather driving skills...I like to think that the only reason Tony's light pick-up truck managed to stay on the road was because it was weighted down with several bags of Moo-nure that I had purchased for the garden the other day and then was too lazy to get out of the back of his truck. (Which, on a philosophical note, is another fabulous example of manure keeping you out of...well, deeper manure).

But I digress.

Tony made it to work and I turned off the alarm and dozed to the voices of the overly-excited news anchors describing all the icy roads and all the people who had already attempted car Icecapades and failed. Between the hours of 7am and 9am, there were over 200 accidents in the city alone, and something like another 150 in the county. Police and wreckers were so busy that they sent out notices that unless you were seriously injured, they weren't even coming. You had to find a way to pull yourself out of the ditch.

The city also dispatched both all of our salt trucks, which resulted in fabulous TV footage of the salt trucks also sliding down the road sideways. They'll be showing that clip for years to come.

Meanwhile, I did what I always do when the city is in a state of emergency...I lounged around in bed and laughed at the country bumpkins that the news found to interview. (Side note: If you ever happen to catch Knoxville news, please know that we don't all sound like that. It is my belief that the new stations will keep interviewing perfectly intelligent sounding people until they come across the old guy in overalls that says something like, "We-llll, than I dun seed that there truck comin' right tawds me, and I dun said, 'Elsie! we gotta be gittin' outta dat dere feller's way!" For reasons I will never understand, news stations loooove to put that guy on the air. Extra points if he's in a rocking chair on his front porch or sitting on a tractor).

Anyway, by 11:00 I was tired of watching the city's rendition of Disney's Cars on Ice. I figured that the roads were dry enough by now, so I made my way past all of the abandoned cars on the sides of the roads and on into work (luckily without incident). Sure enough, everyone who had managed to make it to the office was all aflutter about the "Great Ice Storm of 2008!" and how many hours they sat in grid-locked traffic due to the wrecks. No doubt this cautionary tale will continue to be passed down from generation to generation, (much like the "Great Blizzard of '93"), detailing the trials and tribulations of the city being in total ice-covered chaos for Three. Whole. Hours!

And there still wasn't even snow.