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It snowed last night. I got to go into work a little late, because the university didn't open until 10:00. We'd had a snow day earlier, but it was on a day when I didn't have classes.

It reminds me of snow days when I was a child. Almost all the kids in the neighborhood did the normal things kids do in the snow, except for my next door neighbor Scott.

He loved the way the ground looked when it snowed. I have to agree that there is something aesthetically pleasing about virgin snow. But Scott was a fanatic.

He hated for anyone to disturb the pristine beauty of new fallen snow. He hated for people to walk across it and leave footprints. He really hated for people to make snow angels. Which put a little bit of a crimp in our relationship, because I loved to make snow angels.

I remember the following conversation:

Scott: Don't mess up the snow with a snow angel
Me: It's a free country!
Scott: Yes, but you're supposed to keep it beautiful

Remember, we were 10.

At the time, he just struck me as annoying. Looking back, I have to think he was seriously disturbed. It might have been OCD, or it might have been some weird way of dealing with his home life. I often wonder what happened to him, and if he is living somewhere by himself with people parts in his fridge.


any 10 year old with that much OCD is bound to have problems as an adult. Not making snow angles...that's just wrong.
I feel sorry for Scott, but another part of me wonders if this is the mindset behind extreme purity-conservatives and fanatical environmentalists. (Not that there's much difference between these two ideologies, really.)

Also, sorry for editing so much, but this also reminded me of a passage in the Little House books when Laura Ingalls looks at a freshly fallen snowscape and claims: "The houses stick up out of the snow and spoil the view. I wish we lived somewhere where there weren't any houses."

The problem with some environmentalists is that they have Laura's aesthetics without the 19th century respect for other people's property.

Edited at 2009-02-04 10:23 pm (UTC)
Scott is probably working for the EPA now.

Your diagnoses of environmentalists is spot on. I can certainly understand the aesthetics behind it. I remember being in a particularly beautiful location in California and thinking "I can see why so many people out here are tree huggers."

It's when you sacrifice everything else (such as property rights) to the value of natural beauty that things get ugly.
Well said. I feel like that too - not that I mind seeing houses in the wilderness, but I recently took a walk in pristine bush and up a snowy mountain. It was a wonderful experience. Then a couple of days ago I took another walk here in the suburbs, near a route with lots of noisy trucks and dust. The contrast was loud and clear and I desperately wished I was up the mountain again.

Then again, for the life of me I can't understand why some people have the nature-good, building-things-evil mindset. I personally think they have their aesthetic sense confused with morality. Not a good mistake to make.
Parts in the fridge seems a little less than pristine. He probably has smoothed out all the ice in the freezer and emptied it entirely of products, and likes to just open and stare into it during the summer...

I wonder though. I think the brain is pretty resilient and a lot of people act almost psychotic as children yet grow up to be okay citizens. I hope he's doing alright. : )
You make a good point. I was seriously weird at various times in my youth and even though I am not exactly normal now, I am functioning and harmless. And there are no people parts in my refrigerator. (Unless I absent-mindedly put some of my own nail clippings in there.)

Edited at 2009-02-05 03:25 pm (UTC)