The Snow


Brittany Pike walked into the apartment and threw a loaf of bread against the couch.

“What happened? Where's the ham?” Lauren was genuinely concerned, but also pretty hungry. Winter was in full effect, and with it, the hysteria associated with snow. Brittany Pike had journeyed to the grocery to get a couple of basic things that her and Lauren needed for their apartment. Looking exhausted she collapsed onto the couch beside the bread.

“It was chaos there. The shelves were pretty much empty of everything we wanted. I couldn't look for a lot though, there was just so much going on I had to get what I could and leave. I had to take this bread out of someones cart.”


“No, it was fine. She had her back turned and even if she had started to turn around, she was using a walker so it would have taken a minute.”

“That is unacceptable.”

“No, whats unacceptable is people around here freaking out whenever four inches of snow is forecast. It's only four inches. No ones going to starve in that matter of what, hours, that it's unsafe to drive? But what's really unacceptable is that fear-mongering Kevin Harned. If it weren't for him and all his, 'will it or won't it' crap, people wouldn't get so worked up. I hate him!”

“Well, that sucks, but calm down. Just relax for a minute then we can run back to the grocery and get some ham and all that other stuff.”

“WE? What do you mean we?!”

“Fine, geez. I'll go by myself. You need to quit watching so many soap operas.”

Brittany grabbed her laptop and jerked it over on to her stomach. “I'm sending him a message.”

“Who? Kevin Harned?”

“Yep, that bitch is gonna get a piece of my mind.”

“Stop saying people are gonna get a 'piece of your mind.'”


“It's like when someone says 'psyche' or 'negative' or something. It was annoying in the nineties, and its maintained its annoying status even though it's left the mainstream way of talking.”

Brittany Pike started replying under her breath while typing with severity, “I'm about to give you a piece of my mind if you don't...”

“Alright, forget it! I'll be back.”

Lauren grabbed her keys and left for the grocery. She returned in the early evening, just in time for the news. Brittany Pike was in the restroom and walked out as Lauren turned on the tv.

“What are you going to watch?”

“The news. You were freaked out, plus everyone at Kroger did seem to know something I didn't. So I thought I'd see exactly what was being said.”

“I think that Kroger and the meteorologist in this town have some sort of deal. Kevin Harned and company get everyone worked up so they run to the grocery and buy up stuff they don't need. They could be giving kickbacks to the meteorologist. They've gotta be! Doesn't that make everything seem more rational?”

“What happened on General Hospital today?”

“Oh! Well Jax found the tape of Claudia putting a hit out on Sonny...”

Lauren turned the volume up to a point that Brittany Pike couldn't be heard. Kevin Harned stood in front of the map of the United States. His mood was much more somber than usual.

“Well it looks as though we'll get some snow tonight... It shouldn't be too much though... I mean weather can.. is sometimes so unpredictable that you can never know exactly what's going to happen until it's happening. It will definitely get colder tonight. I can't give you an exact estimate of how cold though... And it's going to snow... well it should snow, but you never know. I mean I wouldn't bet my life on it or anything... ummm...”

“Brittany! What did you send to him?!”

With her hands perched triumphantly behind her head she said, “I just told him that he needed to get his facts straight before he whipped people into these frenzies.”

“That's it? Why does he seem so sad?”

“I may have used a couple of curse words. And made an ironic joke.”

“Let me read it.”

Brittany grabbed her computer and slid it over to Lauren, who was shocked to find out that the messaging had happened on Facebook.

“You're friends with him on Facebook? Why did he add you?”

“I added him.”


“I don't know, just read it if you're gonna.”

After scanning the message she slowly closed the computer.

“I can't believe you are cyber bullying Kevin Harned.”

“What are you talking about? Did you even read what I wrote? You must have not gotten the joke.”

“Yes. Not only was that joke not ironic, it was also far from funny.”

“Yes it was.”

“No it's not, you use ironic where most people would use the word 'weird.' They're too very different things. And joking about a weatherman dying in a snowstorm... that's not very funny. That's creepy.”

“Oh well, he needed to be taken down a peg or two.”

“No, you need to. Did you even read his response?”


“It says 'Brittany Pike, I'm sorry that I disappointed you. Thanks for being my friend.'”

Brittany Pike's face seemed to register some remorse. Her anger had changed to concern. She slowly reached over to take the computer from Lauren's lap. Lauren watching her, was proud to see her roommate calm down and see the error of her ways. She placed both her hands on her heart as if she were watching a touching moment in a movie. Brittany Pike just sat looking at the computer for a moment deciding her next course of action as Lauren watched on. Then finally, she took action, clicking as severely as she had typed before.


The Trip: Part 2

“You're just a little bitch aren't you? How's that seat feel bitch? You cozy up there bitch? If I had a bitch ass like you I'd be comfortable up there too. Awww, am I hurting your feelings bitch? Can you not handle this? Huh, what do I care if the kid behind me is listening, he's a bitch too. Turn around bitch, I don't want to see your face.”

What had I done to deserve this lashing, from Lauren of all people? Why I took the front seat on the roller coaster that she had been hoping to get herself. In my defense I was standing in front of her in the line, and Brittany Pike and I had already stated our desire for that seat as well. So naturally when it was our turn to get on we sprinted to it to claim our spot, and exert our dominance. We were foolish to think Lauren would take this lying down. Lauren was a different person outside of town. We liked to refer to her as 'Travel Lauren.' Anything could set her off, and you could always tell the rage was coming by how big her eyes were.

The day had started as amazing as it seems in the movies. The sun was out, birds were chirping, smiles on everyones faces. He strolled at a leisure pace through the park. There was no hurry, we had plenty of time, and besides, we were on vacation. We were all so comfortable with one another that there were times when we could go several minutes without saying a word to one another. On one occasion I had zoned out in our 'comfort silence' moment to see Beth prodding her piece of chicken with a finger as Lauren admired herself in her personal mirror.

I said, “Me and Lauren want to ride the ride that Ellen narrates.”

Then Brittany Pike said, “Oh, well I'm going to go look for this bakery I read about in the park.”

Then Beth said, “Ooooo, me too.”

We all agreed to part ways, but little did we know this is what would be our downfall. In continuing with our movie perfect day, the time Lauren and I spent together would have been perfectly suited for a movie montage. Perky music playing as one activity bested the one before it. Nothing had put a damper on our time together. Then my phone rang. It was Beth.

She said, “Where are you?”

I said, “Why, what do you want?” I could detect tension on her end of the line.

She said, “We want to meet back up. This has been awful, Brittany Pike didn't know where she was going, but she insisted she did, and we just kept walking around for hours. At one point she ran ahead of me and jumped on a monorail as the doors were closing and I was left behind at the station. I'm just ready to meet back up.”

Then I said, “Oh, that sucks. Well we're over by the big pond, just look for the tree, alright gotta get off here, talk to you soon.”

“Oh no Lauren, they want to ruin our day! They want to meet back up and they're both annoyed with one another. What do we do?”

At that moment Brittany Pike called Lauren.

Brittany Pike said, “Now where exactly are you, those directions were vague.”

Then Lauren said, “We're by the big pond, and then there's a big tree over here too.”

Then I said quietly so only Lauren could hear, “Yeah, keep it broad and general so they can't find us.”

Then Brittany Pike said, “Well we want to meet back up. This has been awful, it took me longer to find the place than I thought, and Beth was always a step behind me and I was in a hurry. At one point we had to catch the monorail and she was walking and texting so when I got on she wasn't paying attention so she missed it. I'm just ready to meet back up so she can follow you guys around.”

Then Lauren said, “Well we don't have to meet up, you guys can do your own thing, we're in no rush.”

Then Brittany Pike said, “Oh we see you,” and hung up the phone.

Lauren said to me, “Damn it, what do we do? They're going to erase the greatness that was this day.”

And they did. As a result of their bad moods ours were brought down too. As we exited a ride I apologized for how mediocre it was.

I said, “Sorry you guys, it wasn't as fun as I remembered it. I thought there was a little more action.”

The Lauren said, “Oh like when you made me watch all of Sister Act 2 last week because you were waiting for the action to start?”

Then I said, “Oh yeah? Well did you conveniently forget just minutes ago when you made me ride the Carousel of Progress? You certainly talked that up and I kept looking for ways to get out of there the whole time!”

Then Lauren said quietly to me, “Wait, we've got to stop. This is just what they wanted.”

And we stopped. And we got along perfectly. For the next seven minutes. At that point I sat in the spot she wanted on a roller coaster. An awful one at that.

The Trip: Part 1

“Here put this in. This is a great movie. It's hilarious. Besides it will help driving through Atlanta go by faster.”

Within moments of this suggestion I passed out. I slept all the way through the traffic jam in Atlanta, and all the way through I Heart Huckabees. I honestly didn't think it was hilarious. I thought some parts were okay, mainly Lily Tomlin jumping into a car, but I didn't really get it. So since I didn't understand what was happening, I just assumed it must be clever. When I woke up the movie's credits were rolling and no one looked happy.

“That was horrible,” Beth said. “And how can you just fall asleep immediately after making us watch it?”

I looked to Lauren who was usually the calm, reasonable one of the group for some assurance. Her eyes were as wide open as I have ever seen them. The reason for this being the unorthodox driving style of Brittany Pike. Traffic combined with construction never created a great scenario so the constant stop and go was getting to Lauren. We finally developed a good pace so everyone's anxieties seemed to ease. For a moment anyway.

Lanes began shifting around due to the construction on the interstate. This however should not reflect a speed change in the mind of Brittany Pike. Rather than slow down as we weaved back and forth through lanes she maintained her brisk pace. As Beth and I engaged in an ad lib in the back of the van, we suddenly started swaying back and forth, each sway harder until we had to put up our hands to keep from slamming into the windows. We all shouted “BRITTANY,” simultaneously followed by a not nearly as loud “Pike” from Beth.

The stress of the construction led us to an IHOP to eat away our worry. Beth wanted to sleep in the car rather than go in so she asked me to get her French toast with any fruit besides strawberries.

“No problem!”

Twenty minutes later as I returned to the van with strawberry pancakes, not sure what happened there, I stepped in a suspicious looking substance in the parking lot. I wiped what I could onto the pavement then got in the car. This time around Lauren would be driving. Though I smelled nothing, it only took a moment for a group 'what's that smell?' I was the last one to get in the car so the blame rested entirely on my lap. We made it about thirty more miles down the road before Lauren exited the interstate to run into a gas station to vomit. She insisted that she was nauseated due to the IHOP, but I couldn't help but feel self conscious.

Beth began driving for the night portion of the trip. Despite the GPS system that told her the next move she found herself in a panic as we turned and went up and down hills because she couldn't see the road miles ahead of her. This led to Beth constantly flashing her bright lights to the darkness in front of us, despite the flow of traffic on the other side of the interstate. The darkness of the night was just the first problem. Around two that morning deer started approaching the interstate on all sides which added break pumping to the light flashing.

Also around this time Beth tried to break the tension by saying/singing “Jesus take the wheel.” She laughed to herself and thought 'how clever.' She noticed however, that no one in the car seemed to enjoy her pun as much as she did. In fact no one acknowledged it. She was embarrassed, but at the same time she knew her joke should have killed so she waited around for another chance to employ it. After passing the eighth bloody spot on the road, and the third semi truck with a deer carcass in its front, Beth once again attempted “Jesus take the wheel.” Again, nothing. This time embarrassment gave way to anger and Beth pulled off the interstate to quit her shift prematurely.