Now, I'm no meteorologist, but I can definitely tell when snow, rain, or even cold temperatures are imminent. There's no better indication that the weather will turn to slightly uncomfortable than the gaggle of weather-phobic shoppers streaming through the front doors of the grocery store after the six o'clock forecast.
It doesn't even matter how much less-than-comfortable weather we should be expecting.
"Looks like there's a small, tiny, very slim possibility of some moisture in the air," say the meteorologists (who, by the way, are wrong 11 out of 10 times during the snow season).
"Honey, I'm gotta go get six gallons of milk and several loaves of bread before we get snowed-in," say the shoppers.
I am not exaggerating.
The result is what I imagine the zombie apocalypse would look like; shelves stripped bare of canned and baking goods and "the necessities" being carted out by the tons. There's no regard for fellow shoppers — and certainly none for the employees — they're only driven by the primal need to hoard before the storm.
Just like the zombie apocalypse, the storm never comes and you're left with only a stockpile of pasteurized dairy products with same expiration date to show for your efforts.
I really don't understand it, yet I've never seen another phenomenon so predictable in all my years of working in the stores.
We live in Colorado where — gasp! — it snows from time to time. It rains, and it gets pretty cold, too. You'd think that even after witnessing one Colorado winter, one would be able to recognize that we aren't talking about the East Coast's kind of snow, or Canada's, or Alaska's; we're talking about Colorado snow. The kind that falls in a dry state with 300+ days of sunshine per year and doesn't stick around for very long.
I'd bet that I can count the number of times you've actually been snowed in on one hand, and without using all my fingers. Yet here you are, forecast after forecast, buying the same ungodly amount of groceries "just in case."
In case of what? You may need to spend the morning shoveling your driveway and for whatever reason need to use two-dozen eggs between now and then? I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and give you one full day of being snowed in; how on earth would you have made it without those 5 pounds of bacon?
What I'm trying to tell you is to save your time, money, and a little of your dignity by not clamoring to the grocery the second you hear "snow" uttered in the forecast — I'll be seeing you the next day for whatever you forgot anyway.
The man behind the apron is Craig Lemley, digital content coordinator here at the Indy. The Colorado Springs native spent nearly a decade working in grocery stores across the Pikes Peak region before retiring his produce knife for a surprisingly less-stressful media career. Follow him on twitter (@_CraigLemley) or send questions/comments to email@example.com.