I don't want to see ice today unless it's in a drink.
Ditto freezing rain, sleet, snow, snow fog -- whatever that is -- and any other frozen precipitation you're thinking of mustering up, Mother Nature.
Depending on which weatherman to whom you listen, we could get anywhere from a little rain to the next Ice Age. And in the newspaper game, wintry weather is a double-edged sword by which I'd just as soon not get cut today. It makes for great stories and photos, but you have to get out in it to get them.
Throw anything at journalists -- fire, flood, famine, snowstorm, World War III -- whatever the calamity, we come to work. I've always told candidates during job interviews, if a meteorite strikes and the world is coming to an end, we will try to put it in the paper. For some reason, I always get the feeling they think I'm kidding about that.
So when it snows and everyone else is sitting at home watching Netflix and drinking hot chocolate, we're taking it up a notch. We're trying to write more stories and take more photos. Everyone else is playing and we're doing more work.
But I don't want to do that today. I'm supposed to be off (he whined in his best imitation of Dante from "Clerks" -- "I'm not even supposed to be here today!")
I want to watch a movie, work on my novel, maybe take a nap. I've done snow and ice. I've slid backward down a steep hill in Lawrenceville. I've spun in a circle in Lilburn. I've driven at night on Ga. 316 when it was so iced over that I was the only guy on the road for a good 10 miles. And I've been on U.S. 29 when it was covered in ice -- and cars.
And by the way: While we love that you're all out having a good time, could you not have your fun on the roads? Driving on ice is hard enough without having to avoid a bunch of "normal-job" people who think it's fun to go sight-seeing in the middle of an ice storm. We have to be out in it. You don't. Stay home. Someone will come to you if you build the biggest snowman or your birdbath freezes in a particulary photo-worthy way.
Maybe it's because I'm getting older and I live 30 miles from work. Maybe it's because I was born in an ice storm. Whatever the reason, I'd just prefer not to get out in it anymore.
But Nate, you're saying, you don't have to get out in it. You already told us you were off today.
Yeah, it doesn't work that way in this business. When news happens, journalists -- real journalists -- go to work. It doesn't matter what the schedule says.
Of course, with modern technology, we editors and designers have the ability to work from home these days, which is pretty cool. But you have to have electricity to do that. Two storms ago, we lost power at my house and burned up all the firewood before dawn. Standing in the garage at 5 a.m., using a hatchet to bust up expensive lumber you were going to turn into a shoe rack and a bookshelf just to keep your family warm is not my idea of a good time. And it does not beat working.
Not from home anyway.
Email Nate McCullough at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears on Fridays. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/natemccullough.