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Revenge of the Febs

The natives are restless. I think we're deep into The Febs.

About a hundred years ago, around the time when I worked for the Beckley Register-Herald, Neale Clark coined a phrase — "The Febs" — describing the doldrums of February. It's the time of year when you're reaching your wit's end with winter, and in Neale's own words,

Your kids walk around bumping into the walls and can't seem to focus their minds on anything for longer than thirty seconds. The cat also has sunk into a dismal sort of stupor.

Symptoms are general unrest in the household, bickering among smaller children, fistfights among adults. There is little relief, other than Valentines Day. Presidents Day only tends to aggravate the symptoms, given the fact that certain agencies get a day off and you don't. Added to this are the inevitable snowstorms....

That phrase has stayed with me over the years because it fits like a wet toboggan. And we're there now. There's a grumpy unrest in the air, people are being snippy, and it feels like it's going to last much longer than the singular month for which it's named. And ah, yes, the snowstorms.

So the one we were told was coming this weekend was a dud (at least it was in Charleston), and I heard the phrase "Rockefeller Blizzard" tossed around a few times. Another is supposed to blow through starting tomorrow. That is, if you could call it a snowstorm. What do you call it when it's not snow that's falling, but instead a mixture of snow, ice, sleet, rain, and slush? The word "mess" comes to mind, and it looks like we're going to get several inches of "mess" between now and Wednesday.

I feel for the people who got hit bad with the weekend storm. Keyser, WV got 32 inches, as did Dulles Airport. DC in general got absolutely hammered. I think it's weird that Charleston got maybe an inch of snow and that's it. I don't think we're going to dodge the bullet again tomorrow, though.

Twenty more days and The Febs come to an end. It can't come soon enough.

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