Snapshots of a… Crazy Kinda Life

The Misadventures of Messie Jessie

Schadenfreude at its finest February 7, 2009

Schadenfreude = taking pleasure in the misfortune of others

In case you need a little more elaboration, here’s a song written about the phenomenon.


When I was 8 years old, my mom and I lived in this house that sat adjacent to a 45 degree curve in the road. When inclement weather would fall, that curve became an icy, treacherous mess. My mom and I would sit in front of our second floor window, drink our hot chocolate and watch as the cars would spin out and wreck in front of our house. It was my favorite winter-time activity.

Apparently, some guilty pleasures die hard… And are best enjoyed in the company of others.

On Tuesday into Wednesday of this week, Philadelphia got almost 8 1/2 inches of snow. The streets department is notorious for their poor response to snow, and thus did no salting nor subsequent plowing of minor arterial & local streets.

I work right next to one of these streets, which has a very, very small curve on it. It’s a one way street, so cars are accustomed to zooming down this road without a second thought. The caveat this week was that since the street had not been treated before or after the snow, this curve became covered in first slush, then ice. 

Each morning, as I rounded the corner to the street of my job, there was a cop car sitting in front of my office. The first day, my initial reaction was, “oh great, it’s not even 8am and someone’s in crisis”. In actuality, the cops were there to deal with the cars that were piling up on the other side of the curve. 

On both Thursday and Friday, we had a total of 12 accidents- that we witnessed. On Friday, we were privy to witness 6 cars slip out and hit either each other, or cars parked along the street, within the span of about a half hour.

What did we do about the problem? Yes, that’s right- we sat there and watched.  We also saw a few bicyclists slip out, and one man in a wheel chair take a spill (it’s ok to laugh. He got up and walked his wheelchair out of the road). And me specifically; what did I do? I broke out my camera phone… That’s right, I was the shutterbug voyeur. 

Finally, the cops decided it was in the best interest of all to close off the road. This was about the time I broke out my camera, so while I missed photo-ops for the really good action, here’s a little something to satiate your own voyeurism tendencies.


This guy was sitting the the parked white car

This guy was sitting in the parked white car when it got hit



Cops everywhere!

Cops everywhere!












This is the icy curve

This is the icy curve


More cop cars!

More cop cars!


One Response to “Schadenfreude at its finest”

  1. James Says:

    I have nothing to comment about your blog, except to point out all the freakin’ snow you have there! And I hope for my sake that you’re taking every advantage of it that you can, at either contructing at least one snowman per day, or having one snowball fight per day.

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