Thursday, December 2, 2010


People occasionally ask how I landed on “Bermtopia” as the name of this blog.

This is how:

Ah, yes. An La Nina winter in Bermtopia means snow berms. Lawns. Sidewalks. Streets. Nothing is sacred.

The berms aren’t particularly impressive right now. We’ve hit an intriguing patch of spring-like weather and we’re in a meltdown of sorts. Envision living inside of a Slurpee, or a quickly melting Sno-Cone, and you’ll get the picture.

As a result, our Big Boys are looking just a shade anemic. But, if the snow starts flying again (and we can only hope it won’t), watch out.

As a daily dog walker – and long-time downtown driver – I can tell you there is a certain art --AND science -- to navigating snow berms. And I am, of course, more than happy to share my hard-earned wisdom with you:


On foot, the primary objective is to avoid the dreaded berm squat. With each step I take, I pray my good neighbors have busted out an opening in the berm at the corner of each block, but alas, not all do. Countless berm squats later, I have learned discretion is ALWAYS the greater part of valor. Walk down to the nearest plowed driveway – even if it’s halfway down the block – and exit stage right. Trust me. You need the exercise.

And a dry butt rocks. Not to mention personal dignity, which remains intact because you don't have to perform a berm squat extraction in public. Trust me (again). This would not be your finest moment.


The key to navigating berms on the road is advance planning. Know where you're going -- and which lane(s) it will take to get there. Get in them. Stay in them. Do not waiver from The Plan.

It also helps to scout the overall municipal Street Berm game plan. Where they are -- and where they are not. It can save you a few minutes -- and minor cardiac arrest, particularly after dark.

BUT the most important rule: Understanding you DO NOT own the street berms. Quite to the contrary, the mo-fo's OWN YOU. Listen good: These piles of frozen, solid packs of snow strategically plowed into the middle of our fair city's main thoroughfares OWN YOU, bitch. (Sorry. My fingers made me do it.)

I cannot describe the number of poor, pitiful (stoo-pid) souls I've seen downtown who have tried to go "off road" and breach a street berm because they (a) missed a turn (have you ever heard of calmly going around the block, my pretties?) or (b) decided go Nascar all of a sudden.

They end up high-centered (Snow Physics Lessons #1: Compressed snow + < degrees =" Concrete)">32 degrees = Slurpee).

So there you have it.


My blog.

My home town.

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