01 February, 2006 Temperature: 32 degrees F (0°C)

This morning, the Baron and I didn’t depart until daylight. We received a couple inches of snow overnight, and I wanted to wait until the plows had made at least one pass on the sidestreets. Besides that, I thought I should get a photo of the Saint Paul skyline that I described the other day, so those who don’t live here would know what I was talking about. It’s best to have at least a little ambient light for that.

Well, the streets were filled with dirty brown slush when we rolled out of the driveway. Perfect slop for the cars to shower us with. Then, when we stopped at the High Bridge to take my photograph, I saw this message on the screen: “No Memory Stick”. Sure enough, I had left that little critter in the stick reader, attached to my PC at home. Alrighty then. On with the journey, we will get that shot another time.

The sidestreets were a challenge. Snowplow coverage had been spotty, and some of my favorite curves had a sloppery mixture of slush over ice. Now, don’t go running for your dictionary. “Sloppery” is my own conglomeration of sloppy and slippery. I do this sometimes, just to confound editors and infuriate grammar geeks. But it works, doesn’t it? I’ll bet you knew exactly what I meant.

Over by the Ford Plant, there are two curves which form an ‘S’. They are a lot of fun to take quickly on dry pavement, but in sloppery conditions, you really want to slow down. Approaching the left-hander this morning, I planted my foot and rolled on the gas, expecting our usual 3-point drift. To my considerable surprise, I found the front sliding first, then the rear, and then the front again in an uncoordinated slither which had us heading for the curb. I stayed with it, and we straightened out six inches from a minor disaster. That woke me up.

We slowed for the right-hander, and once we got going straight again, I reached around to pull the seat cover out of my… er, well, you get the picture. Pucker factor engaged.

The Eskimos have something like thirty words for different kinds of snow. This morning I learned that I shouldn’t play around in sloppery conditions. Surely we can add this word to our northern vocabulary. I’ll call Webster’s… I’m sure they’ll get right on it.

8 Responses to “Slip-Sloppery”

  1. Dan Jones Says:

    OK Gary–I’ll buy into sloppery. I’ve often heard that “English is a growing language”. Now I know who the grammar culprit is… one of them anyway.

    So today I bought a pair of pants with a sort of “urban camouflage” pattern. Black, gray, light brown, and dark brown. This would seem to be the almost perfect paint job pattern for a winter scooter. Clean or dirty it would still look the same. Not so good for the conspicuity though.

    BTW Ivan tells me that a whole set of replacement panels for a Baron costs about $150 when purchased as a set. Nice way to change the color scheme.

    Ride safe.

  2. Mad Says:

    Shakespeare invented a great many of the words we use today, so if he can do it I don’t see why we can’t let you get away with “sloppery.” :D

  3. mnscooter Says:

    This was a good day. I had lots of fun on the roads, a bit of a scare, and came up with a new word. Yes, Dan, we have the “verbing” of the English language going on apace, and we have to constantly come up with new words to keep up with the devolution of culture and the evolution of technology.

    As far as that urban camouflage pattern goes, I think Honda are trying to capitalize already with the Ruckus and the Metropolitan. But I’m sure you couldn’t buy Honda bodywork for $150. That Baron deal is a real bargain, especially when you start talking to custom paint shops.

    Just wait until you see what we come up with for my wife’s scooter…

    Ride well,

  4. mnscooter Says:

    Thanks Mad. Check your email…


  5. Andrew Onan Says:

    From riding this winter, I’ve found that slush/slop on the roads is in fact more dangerous than the usual snow. The reason for this is that slush is so thick that it clings right into the crevices of your treads and stays there, so you have essentially no traction and hydroplane. Just an FYI on my experiences.

  6. mnscooter Says:

    Yup… downright sloppery!

    Ride well,

  7. Buster Brown Says:

    It’s called a “neologism”.

  8. mnscooter Says:

    What would I do without Buster Brown, the Crossword King? Thank you, sire!

    I’m going to miss First Thursday tonight, Buster. It looks like it’s gonna be a good one too. But, you know… family stuff.

    Ride well,

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