Ask Tahoe Tessie: When should I put chains on my tires? |

Ask Tahoe Tessie: When should I put chains on my tires?

Dear Tessie,

I recently moved here from a place that does not get as much snow. I don’t want to buy snow tires (too expensive), but I’m unsure when I should have my chains on and when I should take them off. Any advice?


New Guy in Town

Listen here, new guy. Perception goes a long way in Tahoe — I should know, I’ve lived here for 1,000 years — and you’re never going to be perceived as a local if you’re tooling around town with chains on. Want to know how I know that? Because today on your way to Safeway you were passed by no less than eight people who all had their windows rolled down yelling, “Take your chains off, tourist!”

Now, first thing you need to do is sell your car and use that money to purchase an all-wheel-drive vehicle. However, you’ll quickly find out that in Tahoe the price of a 1980’s Subaru with 300,000 miles on it and rust holes the size of basketballs is about the same as a lake-front mansion.

So first things first, save some money by traveling to Texas where Subarus are about as useful as a one-legged man in a butt-kicking competition. Buy that Subaru for pennies on the Tahoe dollar and drive it back up. Now you’re thinking to yourself, “Awesome, now I have a car!” Wrong. Sell that puppy for a sweet profit and go back to Texas and do it again. Congratulations! Now you’re a used car salesman smuggling Subarus across state lines like Burt Reynolds in “Smokey and the Bandit.”

Now while you’re at it go shop at Grocery Outlet like a real local, even if it means substituting BBQ Beans on your homemade burrito because they just sold out of that bulk shipment of refried beans they got last week.

Dear Tessie,

I was recently challenged to hop into the lake (fully immersed). I’m scared hypothermia or death could be the result. What should I do?


The Shrivel is Real

Though my gut reaction is to say, “MAN UP” I know that not everyone has what it takes to survive in Big Blue (and given the amount of complaining I see on Facebook about the snow storms, it seems like half the population of South Lake Tahoe can’t handle living around it either). I digress.

After crushing a thirty-rack of PBR and a handle of Fireball with your bros, hopping out of the hot tub and into the lake might sound like a great idea. And it is — for most of us — but for you, probably not, especially since you’re already being a huge pansy about it.

(Oh, and also because I don’t want your family to slap me with a lawsuit when this goes awry.)

Water temps are in the 50s right now and the last thing I want to do is have to swim by you as you’re going into “cold water shock” — trust me, it’s a thing. Just ask those dudes at the Coast Guard who keep trying to track me down.

Do yourself a favor. Tell your buddies to back off, grab another cold one, and stay out of my water this winter (unless you’ve got your life together enough to own a wetsuit.) Tessie out.

Tahoe Tessie is a humorous take on the standard advice column. It is produced by the Tribune staff, and it is not meant to be taken literally. Have a question you want to ask Tessie? Send it to

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