Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Who is Snow Boy??

When Snow Boy came to New London last year, it was during a blizzard and the bad weather didn't let up for two weeks until after his arrival. Nobody likes Snow Boy. He made winter worse. He is bad luck.

Snow Boy is a fat boy, and that makes him an easy butt for jokes. He is round like an apple and he comes from Yakima, Washington. Children yell when Snow Boy goes past, "Hey Snow Boy, you're an Apple Boy!" This past autumn, they pelted him with crab apples, It's not easy being Snow Boy in New London, Conn.

New London is usually kind to stangers, but Snow Boy is the exception that proves the rule. He is mealy mouthed. He talks like his tongue is covered with slush. He is pale in a sickly, weak way, limp wristed with blue spider veins running up his pale arms. He is the opposite of robust. He is pathetic. New London loves an almost-winner, but Snow Boy is sure to come up last in the pack. Why bother encouraging this predictable disappointment?

Snow Boy insists that Yakima, Wash. is better than New London, Conn. He is so dim and dunderheaded, he cannot see the obvious. Even a New Londoner, who can tolerate all sorts of scorn, cannot stomach the idea that Yakima, Wash. is better than Connecticut's Whaling City. When Snow Boy passes them on the street, some children say, "Hey Snow Boy! I'm yakking up on Yakima!"

Snow Boy went to the Dutch Tavern last night, not the busiest night, but not as slow as a Tuesday. The Dutch was full of slender characters just as pale as Snow Boy. He was wearing a tattered sweater with holes at the elbows. He fit right in with the scruffy New Londoners who meet at the Dutch on Monday evenings. No one mocked Snow Boy for his Washington accent. No one threw anything at him. He met a nice girl, Julie, who listened to Snow Boy's stories about the apple fields that stretch out from exurban Yakima. She took him down to City Pier and they kissed as the ferry went by.

Maybe Snow Boy has found a home after all. New London is full of smart women.

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