Monday, February 02, 2009

It's Still Snowing

I see that my neighbours are busy clearing the snow from their paths with shovels. What arseholes. It’s still snowing. This means that, by the time they’ve cleared one patch and moved on to the next, the first bit has been covered up again. And there are another six inches predicted for this afternoon and evening. It’s therefore rather a Sisyphean effort. I prefer just to look out of my window, drink a good cup of coffee, and shout “Wankers!” at them.

In any case, you’d have thought that, if snow clearing served any useful purpose, Eskimos would do it, as they tend to have more of the stuff than anyone else. The fact is, however, you never see an Eskimo out with a shovel. And this isn’t because they have 400 words for snow and, consequently, would have to have a two hour debate with themselves beforehand as to exactly what it was they were actually clearing. No, this is an urban myth originated by an anthropologist called Frank Boaz back in 1911. The reality of the matter is, to Eskimos, snow is just snow (or tla, anyway).

The real reason why Eskimos don’t clear snow is because there’d be a major risk of accidentally uncovering their grandmother who, as Eskimo tradition dictates, is customarily chucked out in to a blizzard to fend for herself once she gets too incontinent and toothless and can't tenderize seal skins any more by chewing them. Letting her move back into the igloo and have it start smelling like wee again can't be a happy prospect.

In addition, I suppose there's the risk, as well, that the Eskimos would inadvertently clear too much snow and then drop through the ice sheet. This is the reason why Eskimos don’t put salt down, either (and why Arctic slugs and snails can largely live out their lives without having to fear genocide by Saxa).

Thinking about it, salt must be a major hazard in igloos, too, particularly around meal times. If, for example, an Eskimo husband wants to perk up his seal blubber and says, “Pass the salt, darling” to his wife, but she accidentally drops it, his last words on earth (or on ice, leastways) will be “Oh fuck!” before the entire igloo and its inhabitants fall through the resulting hole, down into the freezing sea below, and get eaten by a killer whale. Presumably, ready-salted crisps and Quavers are a rarity in Arctic regions for much the same reason. You certainly wouldn’t want spill any or “pop” the bag.

5 comments:

K. McEgan. said...

You could claer the snow with yer dogs.Either paint the westies black or red(visual ident)and throw 'em down the path (a la skittles or boules)or hitch 'em to a trolley and shout "Mush" which as we all know is "Marche" said in sub-polar regions with a French accent and a beard full of frost. Inuit have about 20 words for snow. Salt. As their diet is pretty much 99% animal produce they would have lots of sodium chloride in their bodies.I'm amazed they don't just melt.

Joe Slavko said...

Only in the sense that we have different words for snow, too, ie sludge, flurry, mush, etc. Maybe they do melt, which is why you never see Eskimos on holiday in the South of France.

K. McEgan. said...

One never sees Inuit on the Cote D'Azur as THE JEWS took all their money.

Joe Slavko said...

Yes, but rightly so. As you may recall, the Beth Din invested heavily in a chain of kosher butchers in the Newfoundland area, most of which, however, subsequently melted.

K. McEgan. said...

Newfie is mostly rock.Sure it wasnt Yukon?