There should be a law. Winter in Hubbard County shouldn’t be any harsher than it has to be.
Earlier this month, we had our first instance this season of a special kind of frost that I don’t remember seeing before I moved here a couple years ago. You know – with the long crystals that criss-cross all over car windows and resist being scraped off.
Your blade can’t get under it. All it does is polish the ice crystals onto the glass. It doesn’t matter if it’s a cheap wood-handled scraper that you’ve carried in one car after another since 1987, or a state-of-the-art piece of rubber, plastic and carbon-fiber composite that you bought this fall. It doesn’t matter if you press hard enough to break the glass or barely at all.
I broke three scrapers last winter on this stuff. Well, either this stuff or that nice, pebbly ice that likes to build up to a quarter-inch depth.
I’ve always wondered what’s special in the air around Park Rapids that gives us this gift so regularly between November and April. A friend from Colorado, who sees the same thing there, claims it happens when the morning low is around 20 degrees and the air is not quite humid enough to produce fog.
I have to admit, that description comes pretty close to that clear November, 15-degree morning and our neighborhood’s tendency to be foggy as often as it can.
A friend also told me it helps to score the frost with the back of the scraper – lots and lots of times, preferably in little swirly circles. In my experience, the scorer only really helps on thicker ice. But if your objective is to scrape the window clean in hundreds of tiny segments, that might be your method.
Or, it might work by raising your body temperature until the heat coming off you melts the frost.
Personally, I’m discovering that the thing to do is to go back inside while the motor runs and the car’s heater blows air on the windshield. Do part of a sudoku. Eat a banana. Go out 10 minutes later and try scraping again.
But by then, 10 minutes early for work has turned into 5 minutes late.
There should be a law. I’m not talking about a law against leaving your motor running to warm the car up. With a law like that, no one who parks outdoors could go anywhere from All Saints’ Day to Easter.
Winter is a beautiful time of year when I often look like an idiot, dancing around my car, trying not to yell bad words in public and waving a broken ice scraper.
There’s probably a law against swearing aloud within 1,000 feet of a school. What there should be a law against, fellow citizens, is scraper-proof frost and ice.
I know what you’ll say: We can’t change the laws of nature. But why can’t we? There are a lot of nature men and nature women in our area. Surely, they can get a quorum together and vote in some changes.
I’m expecting results, people. Don’t let me down.