It's Christmastime, a time of giving, and as much as I would love to give all of you an actual, tangible gift for your loyal readership, I am but a humble radio host and cannot afford to do so.
I can, however, give you my sage advice on all things Christmas. That is free (to me), and yet still quite valuable.
For example, last week I shared my horrific experience in attempting to visit Santa's Wonderland. After that post, I got tweets and emails from dozens of you thanking me for saving you from the two-hour vehicular imprisonment in gridlocked traffic.
This week, a little more vehicular advice. It's pretty obvious, but worth over-communicating -- please drive safely in snow!
Yeah, I know, you're like, "No shit, Sherlock," but how about some visual advice to remind you to take it slow and be judicious with your use of the brakes in the slippery stuff. Courtesy of WISN Channel 12, here is video of a recent pileup on a Wisconsin freeway that should scare you straight if you get a daredevil whim traveling for the holidays:
Let's break this down Zapruder style, complete with Brent Musberger open...
0:01 -- "You are looking live at a major highway artery in the state of Wisconsin on a snowy December afternoon, where thousands of average Americans will try and traverse the state. It takes a strong will and an iron stomach, along with razor sharp focus, where only the strong survive....hi, everyone, I'm Brent Musberger..."
0:07 -- We have what appears to be either a four-lane highway or a three-lane highway with one idiot sputtering along in the breakdown lane. SPOILER ALERT: In about 90 seconds, it won't matter as all three (four?) lanes will meld into a singular alley of vehicular carnage. However, at this point, everyone is moving at a reasonable speed, and appears to be traveling safely. All is well!
0:14 -- Wait...uh-oh...lane two....this isn't going to end well...
0:17 -- Barreling into the screen like a tag team of NASCAR dipshits (like the Los Conquistadores of NASCAR) is one car going about 60 miles per hour followed by a second car, going sideways, at roughly the same speed. The front car slams into the back of an innocent, law-abiding driver, while sideways car clips a lane-three driver and begins a spin that is slightly reminiscent of Darth Vader spinning uncontrollably into the far reaches of the galaxy at the end of Star Wars: Episode IV.
0:21 -- Darth catches a second car in lane three in the process, and now that lane is cleared. If that guy were a left tackle in an NFL game, he'd be a Pro Bowler. Unfortunately, he is driving a car in treacherous winter conditions, which makes him a moron.
0:23 -- Now the cars are bunching up ahead, and there's a huge open area which will now lull every new driver coming into the screen into a false sense of how open the road is. We are about to see some crazy shit.
0:28 -- Amazingly, a lane-two SUV manages to slide into the breakdown lane with no incident, but the crashes up ahead are piling up.
0:42 -- Watch the second car to enter the screen slide into the left lane and plow into the median. The guy behind him follows him into the median, almost like the two of them are traveling to the same place and the dude in front told him at the beginning of the trip, "Hey, just follow me," and the second car took the first car's instructions way too literally.
0:52 -- Oh dear, here comes the front part of a tractor trailer. This is a mess, but given the different car sizes and speeds, it would make a pretty kick-ass level on some special edition of Frogger, like Frogger: Winter Storm Edition.
1:00 -- Now we have cars literally stopped in the middle of a snowy freeway, and if you're wondering what it's like to dodge them in real life, put on a blindfold and try to run around Walmart the day before Christmas without hitting anything.
1:03 -- Dude comes barreling down lane two like a bat out of hell, avoids contact with stalled vehicles but goes careening off the highway to the right and literally disappears, like he went into quicksand and died.
1:15 -- Now the cars are strewn about like bodies in the ring after Kane or the Undertaker just went on a chokeslam rampage. The good news is lane one is clear and ready for everyone to run to daylight like LeSean McCoy.
1:17 -- Now there are people getting out of their cars, which may be the only thing dumber than going over the speed limit in a blizzard.
1:22 -- People running into the quicksand off the freeway, also dumb.
2:33 -- It appears, based on the number of civilians standing on the side of the road (and casually strolling back out to the pile of twisted metal in lane three) that the mangled cars in the middle of the road have been evacuated. I can only imagine what it must be like to sit there and stare at your car in the middle of the freeway while four-wheel guided missiles emerge from the storm headed straight for them.
3:00 -- Slow-moving 18-wheeler forces much faster driving cars to roll into the barricade next to lane one. If you're stalled in lane one, you're basically waiting to get hit (while probably still swimming in the driver's side airbag).
3:20 -- Another car goes into the quicksand.
3:34 -- We are about to get the money shot. Six cars all slow down next to each other in lanes one and two, when in comes a pickup truck with the first bump...
3:43 -- ...two more cars with the hard second bump...
3:52 -- ...and two more cars with a near third bump, one of which goes careening into the quicksand to the right and miraculously doesn't splatter a single person standing in the breakdown lane, but does cause....
3:59 -- ...a massive EIGHT-CAR SHMOZZ, which includes some dude thinking, "Dammit, I left my coffee in the cupholder; better go get it," who is sent sprinting to the breakdown lane to keep from getting killed.
4:05 -- Now it's basically just people driving into a brick wall made of cars. The freeway looks like a scene from the last 45 minutes of any of the Transformers movies, and you can literally hear State Farm and GEICO laying off employees to pay for the damage in this mess.
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4:21 -- Oh no....18-wheeler from Walmart...who is stopping....which means....
4:26 -- ...yes, every car coming in now has no view of the wreckage, which means they are destined to become part of the wreckage.
Final crashed-car tally: I lost track at 30.
Starting January 3, 2014, listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.