Archive for the ‘Rants/Tips’ Category

Missoula schoolchildren are a bunch of sissies

OK, maybe it’s a little unfair to blame the kids … they’re not the ones who canceled school, after all. But whoever did is a huge wimp.

I get that it’s cold and snowy outside, but this is nothing abnormal for Montana. Growing up in Helena, I never had one snow day during my 12 years in the system. Not ONE. And trust me, there were plenty of days that would have qualified in just about any other state.

I once dug my 1987 Honda Civic out of nearly three feet of snow and drove it uphill (both ways, mind you) to get to school. Took me the six hours that school was in session, but I made it, because I’m a Montanan, damnit. And we don’t freak out or come to a standstill or cancel school because of a little snow or sub-zero temperatures, like a g.d. Texan or something.

Until the Missoula County Public Schools decided to lead the way in the wussification of our state, anyway.

In fact, Helena has just as much snow today as Missoula (if not more), but the wind chill there is almost -30 (the actual temperature is -9), and they didn’t wimp out and cancel school.

The actual temperature in Missoula is a balmy 3 degrees above zero, for crying out loud! It only feels like it’s -16! And there’s what, maybe, maybe six inches of snow on the ground? Since when does that cause everyone to freak out and cancel life as we know it? This isn’t Seattle; we know how to drive in a few inches of the fluffy stuff.

That being the case, I have just one thing to say to the small to medium-sized children of Missoula: Buck up.

Slip on your little snow boots, your mitties, your fuzzy hats with the puffs on top, and deal with it. Like a real Montanan.

This dog can handle it, Missoula, so why can’t you? (NOTE: I’ve been told this is actually a North Dakota dog. They’re pretty tough, too.)


Squirrel Rant: A plea for Missoulians to stop driving like jackasses

(Editor’s note: This is part of an occasional series on Squirrel Thoughts in which Allison effectively — and hopefully humorously, as well — blows her top about some inconsequential matter. Enjoy.)

Designed specifically with me in mind.

At the risk of coming off as an incredibly self-righteous jerk, I’m going to sound off on one of my biggest pet peeves: bad drivers.

I’m not going to claim to be an awesome driver who’s never made a mistake on the road. (Actually, I just don’t want to jinx myself by mentioning I’ve never been in/caused an accident or even received a traffic ticket. But so much for that, I guess.) It’s just that I apparently have a lot of pent-up aggression that only comes out in the form of road rage.

When people do stupid shit while driving, it irks me to the core. I yell. I honk, sometimes incessantly. I occasionally use less-than-appropriate hand gestures. I’m not an overly angry person, but you wouldn’t know that from riding in my car.

The fact that I’m a stickler to the rules of the road probably doesn’t help. But come on, we are living in a SOCIETY, people! We all (supposedly) passed the same (or very similar) driver’s test, so can we at least try to use our blinkers? You know, before you’re actually turning, when it’s already quite apparent that’s what you intend to do?  Or how about when you’re changing lanes? Seriously, I’d be more than happy to let you in, green Chevy Tahoe driving next to me on North Reserve during 5 o’clock traffic – it’s just that I have no idea that’s what you want since you refuse to use your f#*@ing signal. So please do not curse at me when I nearly sideswipe you because you decided to swerve into the lane sans blinker. I’m the only one reasonably allowed to curse in this situation.

Also, whatever happened to turning into the lane closest to you? Do people even realize you’re supposed to do that? I would say about 90 percent of drivers (in Missoula, at least) do not. Which is why I refuse to turn right on red when the traffic across from me has a left-turn arrow, even if there are multiple lanes, and I should, theoretically, be able to turn into the one closest to me without getting tangled up in a fender-bender. But since the person turning left in the silver Dodge Ram is probably clueless, and most likely talking – or worse, texting (which is illegal in Missoula, FYI!) – on his phone, I just can’t trust he’ll do the right thing.

And don’t even get me started on drivers who apparently can’t comprehend the premise of a four-way stop. It’s a pretty simple concept: It basically works on a first-come, first-served basis. (Unless you both get there at the same time, then the car on the right goes first. Obvi.) Just because you’re going straight and the other person is turning left doesn’t give you the right-of-way, especially when the car turning left already waited for two other cars to go before you even got to the stop sign. This is why I obnoxiously honked at you when you did this, jackass in the dark blue Accord. And then again when you didn’t seem to understand that I was honking at you.

Trust me — I could go on and on (and on and on and on … ) with this topic, but that’s probably enough smugness for one post. Good thing I usually take the bus.

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