The Silence of A Snow Storm In "The Whoomper Factor," Nathan Cobb says that at the time he wrote the essay it was snowing in record amounts. He guessed it would only take a few hours for the snowstorm to paralyze Boston. It was snowing in such amounts that perhaps the headlines would read, "Storm Paralyzes Hub, Entire Region Engulfed, or Northeast Blanketed." Cobb would settle for a local incapacitation.
While others call colossal snowstorms nor'easters or blizzards, Cobb calls them whoompers. He enjoys whoompers and even looks forward to them with eager anticipation. However, he is disappointed with them when warnings of large storms turn into reports of flurries.
Cobb wants a real whoomper; complete with overturned cars and public transportation stopped in its tracks. He says it is not a real whoomper unless Logan Airport closes for at least six hours.
The point Cobb is making is that great snowstorms send a message to the public.
The whoomper makes the citizens of its devastated area captives in their own homes. It makes those citizens, who pride themselves on their instinct for survival, cower inside in order to avoid being consumed by the snow. Cobb says natives of northern New England see snowstorms, such as whoompers, as mediocre. Residents of Boston look at a whoomper with bewilderment.
The message a whoomper sends its victims is that there is something more powerful than them or their city. A whoomper puts people back in their place.
Cobb states it is not such a bad occurrence that whoompers slow people down. He believes that an airport should close from time to time, in order to contemplate whether it is necessary for people to travel at speeds exceeding 600 miles per hour. He decides he will go into the streets to find...