The weather historians have revised their story. Baltimore's blizzard, previously declared the city's worst since 1922, is now officially "the worst winter storm to hit the Baltimore region since record-keeping began in 1871." Outside my home people are still digging, uncovering sidewalks, streets, and automobiles. Their efforts—our efforts—are very necessary, given that even now, several days after the storm, the city plows have yet to enter our neighborhood. It's fun to watch the social mores that suddenly take hold under these circumstances, including the spontaneous emergence of property rights, represented by the use of chairs and other objects to mark a parking place that one has de-snowed.
There have been sadder stories, too. Two young men, for example, died while smoking marijuana in a car: The exhaust pipe was blocked by snow, and their pot fumes mixed with poisonous carbon monoxide.
Political litmus test: The moral to this story is
(a) marijuana kills.
(b) cars kill.
(c) pay attention to what you're doing, dammit.