We are currently playing an exciting game of Weather Cliché Bingo in the UK, due to the Extreme! Weather! Conditions! of literally millimetres of snow and hovering-around-zero temperatures. The Eurostar has just limped its first train through in four days, Heathrow and Luton airports seem to be closed indefinitely (if you want to fly anywhere for Christmas, you may do so next March), and roads are closed everywhere. Cue the clichés.
My bingo card is getting full, as it has both ‘chaos’ and ‘mayhem’ on it (though also ‘bedlam’, which I haven’t heard yet). Other family members have crossed off ‘ongoing delays’, ‘heartache’ and ‘families running out of time’ just from one airport alone. Surprisingly, ‘the biggest/worst snowfall in x years’ has yet to make an appearance. But bonus points were scored from a canny spotting of an entreaty to ‘find the Dunkirk spirit’.
There is even an Added Irony round. This covers motorway signs warning about weather problems that are themselves compromised by the weather problems (witness: the ‘Sa preading’ rather than ‘salt spreading’ sign). It also includes a rather brilliant comment heard on tv just this evening that ‘around Christmas is the worst possible time for weather like this to happen’ – mid-July presumably being more convenient.
It seems likely that ‘absolute shambles’ won’t be wheeled out until the aftermath, which could be weeks away at this rate. A twist in the tale tonight might furnish other valuable opportunities, though, as theories begin to be floated on councils being forced to import grit from offshore. (Jury is out on whether importation of pluck and mettle will also be required. Snork).
Please feel free to offer your own suggestions that should be included on the bingo card. Even if you are in Canada, where you will have to stop laughing at the UK’s incompetence for long enough, or the southern hemisphere, where you will have to stop laughing and also come home from the beach.