Believe it or not, the British are a polite bunch of people. We love our manners just about as much as we love our tea and even though we can come across as a bit rude and intolerant of others, we make up for it with a vocabulary consisting entirely of apologies and graciousness.
With the exception of the Canadians, we are the only people that can get hit by a car, get up, apologize to the driver then phone the paramedic and profusely apologise for disturbing the nice ambulance man. However, we tend to have a habit of losing our goddamn minds, the second we see a single snowflake fall from the sky and land on the ground.
I admit, I may have had a momentary lapse of judgement when I stepped out of my house today. Freshly fallen snow crunching under my boots and a cold wind biting at my face. I did not see the signs as I made my way towards the town, the streets once filled with laughing children now empty and dead. Cars left abandoned on the side of the road as people tried to reach any hope of safety. I only realised I had made a grave mistake the moment I entered the small grocery store. My heart beating fast and hard in my chest as the doors closed behind me. Trapping me forever.
It was the day everyone fears. The day that comes at least once a year. It was the ‘Snowfall Apocalypse.’
Even now, as I sit typing this at my desk, the heavy snowfall outside sending the wind screaming past the windows. Crows and pigeons feeding on the frozen remains of the few that didn’t make it to the safety of the building, I can feel myself shaking. Remembering the hellish time I spent in that store. Terrifying flashbacks of little old ladies turning feral as they beat the youths with walking sticks, suddenly becoming Olympic track stars as they raced down the aisles, filling their baskets with goods from half empty shelves. Men are shouting, children are screaming and there are explosions of metal as people crash their trolleys, fighting to the death for the last loaf of bread.
Indeed, the downfall of British politeness comes in the form of ice crystals from the sky. The fluffy dusting of snow on the roads and train tracks bringing our mighty transport system to its knees. The epidemic, causing even our most well mannered citizens to suddenly become savage.
As I finish writing this short passage with shaking hands, I leave you with the immortal words of a wiser man than me.
Winter is coming.