There are worse fates than being snowbound in Portland.

Finding yourself not in Portland's snow but in the middle of a Mexican drug war is one of them. Slate has a story on that very possibility today.

Here's the first paragraph:

PARÁCUARO, Mexico—Manuel squats behind a stack of sandbags on a dirt road leading to this farming town in Michoacán state, his finger resting on the trigger of a Kalashnikov, watching for drug cartel snipers in the fields of rocks and cacti. This battlefield in a seething, arid valley is a far cry from the quiet suburb of Portland, Ore., where Manuel, a bulky 32-year-old, spent most of his life, raising four children and laying drywall for $200 a day. But two years ago, he was arrested and deported, returning to the town of his birth, which he found racked by violence.