Monday, January 31, 2011
Story-A-Day #80: Icing
There are pros and cons to the fluctuations in out weather. The pros of minus thirty-degree weather are that you aren’t likely to get much snow, and you aren’t likely to feel guilty for staying inside and hibernating. The cons are more numerous. You are liable to freeze, as are the pipes in your house, the birds in the tress, the car in your driveway, and even the moisture in the air.
When the weather does warm up, and we’re not even talking about above zero temperatures, there are plenty of pros and cons. On the plus side, you barely realize that it is as cold as it is. You can practically leave your toque and mittens at home. It’s a nice feeling. On the slightly more negative side, it usually means that there is going to be an abundance of snow, which means an abundance of shoveling and a severe shortage in space to fling the snowy white stuff. It also means that getting around is a hindrance. Warmer weather also creates ice, a terror on the roads, and an equal burden on your house.
As the heat passes through the roof, the snow starts to melt. This creates off flow, which drips and dribbles over the house like icing and eventually forms long, pointy stalactites of ice. These in turn, pose the risk of breaking off your house or office and impaling someone through the brain.
I once read a book of murder mystery stories and one of them described an icicle as the perfect weapon as the evidence would melt away. I believe that to be true. The ice will also run over anything outside your house and will freeze into a solidly slippery state over night. It will cover your porches, cars, and sometimes, even your outside lights.
Try to break that one off. Go on, I dare you.
You see the problem. That much icy weight threatens to rip the whole fixture right off the house. The bottom supports the top and the top anchors the bottom in a perfectly symbiotic relationship. Break the ice on either side and the equation lies ruined. One half cannot exist without the other.
That is the problem, and figuring out the solution is truly the icing on the cake.