I love when it snows as much as anyone, it strums a nostalgic string deep in my torso and it brings back memories of the whizzing air, rushing flakes and adrenal fear that would accompany any great sled run down Blossom Hill. I don’t intend to put down or complain about the snow in any way, but it’s recently come to my attention, while walking my friends dog, that a great number of Philadelphians do not understand the concept of snow. It is, to put it simply, frozen water that comes down from the sky. I understand that its floatiness paired with its coming-down-from-the-sky-ness along with all the mystical power imbued it by movies and TV convince us snow is a sort of divine, cleansing heaven dust, an ephemeral layer of frosty happiness sent from angels on high to erase all that is begrimed, but it isn’t. Snow is simply frozen water.
Because it’s just frozen water, snow doesn’t do a lot of the things people seem to think it does. It doesn’t create Rube Goldbergian chains of events that lead to the discovery of satchels of lost cash. It doesn’t turn every corner-watching vagrant into a poet or make the random chiming of bells less annoying or teach Bill Murray a lesson about what’s really important around the Holidays. It also doesn’t erase your dog’s poo. I know that while you’re standing there it may start to make it disappear. Heck, if it’s really coming down, the snow may even make it seem like the fresh two has vanished altogether, but trust me, it has not.
Now I can already see the metaphysical argument approaching. Is not reality simply perception? If we do not see it, smell it or in any other way know it’s there, is the it really there? The answer is yes, it is there. Not because the snow only covers it, but because poo is outside the realm of simple perception. When your dog goes, until you move it, there it stays, whether it can be seen or not, forever. What’s more, at the end of your life, all the lost poo-souls you’ve left on the street will combine to form an excremental golem set to haunt you for eternity, because unlike the snow, poo is magic.