True Gripes: Fresh snow leaves me cold

White-topped vehicles mean just one thing: pretentious owners
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The Independent Culture
It is time to bring to book those people who drive into large cities with snow on their car-rooftops. There is no need for this practice, and it should be exposed for what it is, an act of gross pretentiousness.

Everybody knows that people who live in the country and work in the city are well enough off to have garages. Therefore, they must deliberately leave their cars out at night to catch the snow. The reason they do this is because they want to make a statement: "We live in the countryside and you don't."

They seem to think that city-dwellers will be impressed by the sight of snow fresh from the country, as if to imply that we don't get "real" weather in cities. They want to ram home the fact that only in the countryside do you get "real" weather, "real"

beer and, of course, "real" ploughman's lunches.

Yes, they have escaped from the horrors of living in a city, and now reside in a cottage at the edge of a field. And to prove it, they bring some snow in with them on the roofs of their cars. As I said: pretentious.

You can see it every day at this time of year: a line of cars from the suburbs trailing grimly towards the city and, dotted here and there among them, the snow-covered country dwellers. They usually have Saabs or Volvos, but sometimes they have Jeeps. The worst offenders even have sets of chains attached to the spare wheel: so useful for tackling snowdrifts.

Well, I say they can keep their snow. Cities tend to be slightly warmer than the surrounding countryside so the snowfall generally passes them by. Most of the time we just get howling winds tearing between tall buildings. When we do get snow everything grinds to a halt and we are always glad to see the back of it. Luckily, this doesn't happen very often. And we don't want to be reminded of it by white-roofed show-offs from the country, thank you very much.

This imported snow can be dangerous, too. By the time the commuters have hit the city streets, their loads of snow have usually loosened a little or thawed, so that at the first corner it slides off in a great wodge and chooks some innocent bystander on the back of the knees. Very nasty.

They can just learn to put their cars in a garage at night or scrape the snow off before they leave. We don't want their snow; they can keep it. They've got to be discouraged, or soon they'll be bringing in bales of hay and chucking it around in city parks. And another thing: how come trains manage to arrive from the countryside without snow on their roofs?

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