On Tuesday — day five of the Memphis snowpocalypse — the Flyer editor sat by the fireplace in his home. It had been a long time since he'd seen his co-workers. Two life-threatening one-inch snows in less than four days had brought the Bluff City to a standstill. After an early morning group email with the management team, it was decided that no one could possibly get to work in these blizzard conditions, so he and his colleagues would stay home, sitting at their computers, sending electronic files back and forth to each other to be edited and designed.
Just like they did in the office — except without the crappy coffee and people walking by wondering if anyone wanted to take a smoke break. Still, the Flyer had to get to press and nothing — nothing! — would stop them, even if they were scattered in their homes across snow-bound Shelby County.
In Midtown, as the sun gleamed off the thin slice of snow on his lawn, the Flyer editor was drinking stout French roast coffee and eating the fine toast he'd made with Dave's Thin Slice Organic Bread with 21 grains. The fire was crackling, but he had a column to write, and he needed to get to it.
Except, he thought, he probably needed to sweep the front steps so the mailman wouldn't slip and fall. That was a lawsuit just waiting to happen. So he went out to his garage and found the the push broom, though it took a minute. It was in the back, behind the lawnmower and stacked flower pots, next to the bikes.
He swept the steps — front and back, can't be too careful — reveling in the clean cold air, the bright blue winter sky, the warmth of his thick flannel shirt, the comfort of his L.L. Bean duckboots, relics of his days living up north, in Pittsburgh, where the natives would laugh at the idea of staying home because of a one-inch snow. These Southern snowflakes, he thought. Hmph.
And where was the mail anyway?
But enough. The editor had a column to do, so on with it. He sat back down by the fire, put his feet up, and opened his laptop. There was so much to write about, he thought, it was almost overwhelming: There was Shithole-Gate, with dueling senators arguing over how foul-mouthed and/or racist the president was. Who was lying? Newly nick-named "Dicky" Durbin or Tom Cotton? Did Trump say "shithole" or "shithouse"? Such nuance.
And DACA was still being used as a political football, leaving 800,000 young people and their families in a horrible limbo, with a March deadline looming. Also, the president had declared himself "the least racist person"; how is that even possible? A lot to get into there, the editor thought.
Oh, and almost unnoticed, The Wall Street Journal had published a story claiming Trump's lawyer paid off porn star Stormy Daniels to be quiet about a tryst Trump had had with her in 2006. How the hell, the editor mused, does that story fall through the cracks?
Actually, to be honest, it was just another week in Chaos Country. The people and the pundits going crazy while the president plays golf and tweets.
The editor sighed. Where to begin? This column wasn't going to write itself. As he shifted in his seat, his dogs came alert, their ears raised. The unspoken canine question an obvious one: "Can we go outside?"
So, ever mindful of his dogs' needs, the editor went to the back door and let them out. He watched with amusement as the Wild Rumpus began, as the dogs did what dogs always do when they encounter fresh snow: They danced, frolicked, spun, rolled, and ran in circles, celebrating the wondrous transformation of their yard. Then, after two minutes of this, they sobered up and barked and wanted back in. The editor sighed and opened the door, stepping aside as the hounds bounded through.
He was never going to get his column done at this rate.