As temperatures continue to hover in the 40s, the snow and ice have virtually vanished from sight. As has Maine’s snowman population.
A record 44 snowman suicides have been reported in the Bangor area since Sunday. The numbers are much worse on a statewide basis, and are so troubling, I have chosen not to share them at this time.
Bangor Police Chief Wendall Moody told this Modern Philosopher, “I’ve never seen anything like it in all my years on the force. Not only does it freak out the little ones to see the smashed up bodies in the middle of the street or sidewalk, but it’s also a major danger to passing pedestrians and motorists.”
“It’s a wonder we haven’t seen more of this behavior during previous Winters,” Dr. Larry Shuman, Chief of Psychiatry at Acadia Hospital, told this Modern Philosopher. “It would make sense for snowmen to have suicidal thoughts when it gets warmer. They know they’re going to die, so they’re like any other terminal patient who much decide if they want to die a slow death, or simply end the misery.”
“There are support groups, with meetings held in severely air conditioned rooms to make the participants more comfortable,” Nicki Samaria of Maine’s Crisis Center explained. “There are ice trucks and restaurant freezers made available to any snowman that thinks he might take his life, or is worried that he will not survive until the mercury drops again. I know it’s a little creepy, but the hospitals even make room in the morgue for snowmen who want to wait out the heat wave. There are options, and the folks at the Crisis Center are there to talk to any snowman who calls seeking help.”
What does the Bangor Police Department recommend that citizens do if they see a snowman about to take his life?
“Call 911 immediately,” Chief Moody replied. “Let the professionals handle it. If you were to say the wrong thing, that snowman might snap and turn himself into a giant pile of slush. If you see a snowman up on a roof, get the heck out of the way. When they jump, they fall a lot faster and harder than you’d expect. If there are any children in the area, please get them out of there. This sort of thing will give them nightmares for many Winters.”
So if you really want to help your friendly neighborhood snowman, Modern Philosophers, you can tell him to call 1-888-564-SNOW, which is the Maine State Crisis Hotline number set up specifically for snowmen. Even out of state snowmen can call that number and receive free help and advice. You could also offer your pal an icy cold place to wait out the warm temps, like a basement or an unheated garage.
And if you see a snowman about to jump, call 911 and clear out of the splatter zone. Everyone loves a hero, but no one wants to see a hero crushed to death by a depressed snowman who couldn’t quite learn to fly…