…has arrived. So prepare for a couple of months of hilarious ineptitude and watch as steadfast British resolve crumbles like a stale brownie at the first sight of a snowflake. Granted, there have been quite a few snowflakes around these isles in the last couple of days, but it’s not as though it’s this cold:

Or this cold:

Or even this cold.

What will almost definitely happen will be a few inches of slushy, half-arsed snow and a national bout of hysteria which won’t thaw off until mid-February or until people realise that they don’t have to imitate Dancing on Ice on their morning drive to work. The novelty of watching cars slide gracefully around major and largely ice-free roads wears off once you notice that you’re five hours late for work, and you start to wonder why, as a fairly advanced and traditionally resourceful nation, we haven’t even begun to learn how to deal with the cold yet.

It’s not exactly a new phenomenon. We’ve had cold patches in every winter I can remember and yet it’s the same story every year. All of the salt in the country will have mysteriously disappeared within the next week, even though the government will claim to have been stockpiling it all year. It will eventually transpire that they were just pocketing the free sachets of salt from the parliamentary canteen for a couple of months in a naive costcutting drive, but the bottom line will be that while there’s plenty of salt for the table there’s never enough for the roads.

The government are only culpable to a small degree, of course. The main issue stems from you, me and the rest of the Great British public, in that we all go absolutely bat shit crazy the second the white stuff starts dropping. We all do two things when the snow starts: 1) Let everybody we know that the snow has started, in case they’ve had the stupidity not to notice the white lumps falling out of the sky. Snow is the only weather event that is granted this honour, if you saw anyone with a Facebook status saying ‘eeeeee, it’s raining!!!!!!!’ you’d assume they were having a breakdown. 2) Start screaming ‘IT’S SETTLING!’ the moment a solitary flake survives on the floor for more than three seconds.

It only goes downhill after this. Walking and driving become totally alien activities to us, the overriding theory on the latter seems to be to rev furiously until the ice recedes in fear, the result being a lot of insurance claims. All schools immediately close on the unfounded pretences that children are allergic to snow, and that trying to make them learn at any temperature below an even 25 is tantamount to abuse. Offices and workplaces are increasingly following suit under the honest pretence that nobody can be arsed to even attempt to get to work, because all lines of transport will inevitably resemble this

Nobody can be quite sure why us Brits have a clinical mental condition relating to mild snowfall. Possibly because instead of working out what the problem is, we’re all too busy creating hideous, lewd figures out of the stuff in the garden all winter.

Oh and also watch this.

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