Saturday, January 24, 2009

Never Hit a Snow Porcupine

While in a dimly-lit parking lot the other night, my daughter Krista screams, “Mom, it’s a Porcupine!!” We drove over to get a closer look. Porcupines are not uncommon in our part of Wisconsin (although I’ve never seen one out in the winter).

“No, it’s just a dirty little snow-pile off someone’s car,” I said, amused.

Snow Porcupines may not be the exact technical term for those “Dirty Packages” of snow that accumulate right behind your tires and are EVERYWHERE now. Following a cruel cold, the slightly warmer temperatures create a short Snow Porcupine season, when every car and truck has multiple “creatures” to drop. Driving is hazardous as cars embarrassingly and unexpectedly release their animals in streets and on highways.

They come in two species:
“Mushy” Snow Porcupines – which cause your car to skid, but then might be crushed flat, or...
“Rock” Snow Porcupines –Essentially solid ice and will mess you and your car’s suspension up. They can ricochet off your tire, unscathed, spin and attack another car like a wild Chinese star. “OOOO! OY-YA!” they scream.

Usually, all 4 of my Snow Porcupines stay clinging, upside down under my car (sloth-like) until we get in our garage. It is there you hear the “hawash” noise at some later point, like they’ve signaled play-time to one another. They usually drop in such a place as to interfere with my garage door sensor so the door won’t go down. Then I have to shoo them away with a shovel or a broom.

My husband, Fred, would rather have the Snow Porcupines removed from my car prior to parking. They are tough little intruders and can break your toe, especially if you kick at the “Rock” variety. My son Jon, accidentally dented his car trying to kick one off—and the quilled snow pest remained.

There must be a solution to the dangerous spiky snow-pile varmints. Maybe we need periodic placement of warming grates that would blow warm air up under the car, like the city subway exhaust blew-up Marilyn Monroe’s dress. After a few moments, the Porcupines would shrink, Wicked-Witch-of-the-West-like and fall harmlessly down the grate.

Or…I suppose I could get the car washed. They hate warm water and soap.

1 comment:

topher said...

I think that should be the official name for them...Snow Porcupines.