By Charles Ferruzza
Since I’m one of those neurotic people who always expect the worst to happen (and I’m rarely disappointed), when I hear the words “ice storm,” I immediately start planning for the worst: power lines crashing down, electricity turned off for days, only a box of crackers in the pantry, eating frozen pizza – still ice-cold — by candlelight.
All of those things (and more) really happened to me in 2001 when an ice storm knocked out power around the metro and I slept in my dark, freezing house for several days…mostly surviving on Triscuit crackers, peanut butter and Little Debbie snack cakes.
I fully expect the same scenario this weekend as the National Weather Service has issued an ice storm warning that, at the time of this writing, is in effect from today at noon until Sunday at midnight.
Somewhere – God only knows – in my house is one of those portable radio units that operate by hand-cranking. No electricity required. If I find it, I’ll use it.
And unlike 2001, I made certain to stock up on vital staples before my life goes to hell in a handbasket: candles, matches, dog food (the expensive kind, in case I’m forced to eat it myself on Carr’s Table Water Crackers with capers and mustard) and eggs. (I’ve already hard-boiled a dozen…just in case).
And on the off chance that I perish like the “freezing persons” in the Emily Dickinson poem (“First – Chill – then Stupor – then the letting go…”), I plan to go out with a full stomach.
I made a quick stop at Andre’s (both locations in Kansas and Missouri, to be on the safe side) for essential survival staples like assorted fondant-covered pastries, ham-and-cheese croissants, even a container of frozen beef barley soup that I plan to re-heat over a candle flame. I was, after all, once a Boy Scout. (I still have my merit badges somewhere; probably next to the missing crank-up radio).
Since our local Hen House Markets have an excellent array of prepared foods, I stopped in to the Fairway branch for a few pre-packaged sandwiches, pasta salads, and a crusty baguette that I can eat with good sharp cheddar and a crisp, tart Granny Smith apple. This store also carries slices of a perfectly delicious Tippin’s chicken pot pie – just as tasty chilled as it is heated up – and flaky apple turnovers that make a delightful breakfast with a cup of leftover coffee that I plan to heat up (to at least a near-lukewarm) over one of those resourceful candles.
I hate making this seem like all a merry game, since I was absolutely miserable 16 years ago. I even cried bitterly one night, feeling sorry for myself as I tried eating a stale cracker with teeth that couldn’t stop chattering from the cold.
This time I’m ready to face the worst. I’ve draped my bed with dozens of blankets, washed every sock and article of long underwear that I own, and even learned how to text for help on my cell phone. Even more importantly: I’ve programmed the numbers for every carry-out pizza joint even remotely close to my house.
I’m ready for Ice Apocalypse 2017.