It's been an unusual winter here in our pocket of the Midwest, much milder than usual. The last thing I wanted to do was cause panic. But I knew I needed to tell someone, which is why I called the Weather Channel.
"Hello? I'd like to report a snowflake."
"Can you describe it?"
"Yes, it was white and had a hexagon shape, lacy and crystal-like."
"Where was it?"
"On the passenger side of my windshield. Top right quadrant."
"Calm down, ma'am. Take a breath. Where did the snowflake go?"
"Into a bank."
"One flake and it's already drifting?"
"No it went toward the Fifth Third bank."
"Are you saying you let it get away! For the love of panic, why didn't you try to save it? Let it stick to a mitten? Catch it on your tongue?"
"Not when I'm driving 45 mph!"
"Listen, if we sent out a member of the team, could you direct him to the location?"
"Not right now, I'm on my way to the store to clear the shelves of bread, milk, eggs and batteries. I figure when the big snow finally hits, it's going to be a monster."
"Right. Have you notified the salt trucks? City officials? State emergency system?"
"Done, done and done. Listen, I could consider meeting your person on one condition. He has to bring a ruler; I just love that when they stick a ruler into the snow. I mean, there's no snow to stick a ruler in, but he could put it on the ground and I could draw a little pencil mark as to how tall the snowflake was.
"Come to think of it, the flake was spinning as it sailed away. It had a certain vortex to it, could have been an F3. Maybe you should send a storm chaser team, too, you know, those folks who race into the path of tornadoes and then drive like maniacs to get away. I think clouds are building.
"No, wait, clouds are not building. But I could run home and get a box fan so we could make it look like clouds are building and your fellow could struggle against the wind. I love that, too, where they lean sideways, the sound is muffled and their hair blows in a million directions like they're wired to a live socket. We've missed out on a lot this winter.
"Look, I have to run. I need to get de-icer, salt the driveway, stack more firewood, check on the generator, gas up the car and check the bottled water supply. It was only one snowflake, but if we unleash a full-fledge panic now, others may come."