King of Excellent (according to Scaryduck)

Friday, January 28

On Ice

Apparently the world is getting warmer. That'll be why for the past 2 years the UK has run out of grit because of prolonged cold 'snaps'. People express surprise when, in December, it snows. The news on TV is inundated with reports from a little man in a field somewhere, telling us that the AA advise us not to travel unless we absolutely have to. This means we must only drive to get things from the shop we don't need "in case it gets worse," or to a park so we can take the kids sledging, or to somewhere to see how deep the snow really is (I mean, what's that all about???).
Meanwhile, here in Ireland, they don't really have snow. Which is lucky really, because judging by what I've seen when it gets icy, they wouldn't have a clue how to deal with deep white stuff. I dunno if they have snow ploughs. I don't even know if they have gritting lorries to be honest. I suspect the existing method is actually a bloke with a shovel stood on the back of a flat bed truck, flinging grit onto the road. And I say grit in the loosest sense of the word. Everywhere else susceptible to ice and snow has a stock of this invaluable product. It's normally rock salt, mixed with sand and flung across the road. The chemical reaction of the salt and the ice means the freezing point is lowered, and the ice then thaws. Over here they have the bright idea that stone chippings are the same thing. The grey fine gravel is flung across roads, with the belief that the sharp stones protrude through the ice, giving added traction. The reality is they might as well be ball bearings. Even if it's not icy, you can feel the car slide sideways on bends, or go straight on at junctions as the ABS melts by going into overdrive trying to stop you sliding. The following night you get a harder frost, or snow, and the chippings are now underneath a layer of slippery stuff, meaning the slippery stuff now slides on top of them and the vehicle or person on top of the slippery stuff slides in two directions at once. So, how do they deal with it? They send out another man with a shovel, again spreading more gravel across the slippery stuff now on top of the gravel on top of the slippery stuff you first had a week ago.
I just buy some dishwasher salt. Job done.