(God, how I love Julian from Madagascar.)
Yesterday was cold. It was only -14 C or thereabouts, but the windchill made it feel really cold. It was buttfreezing cold. It was “minus holy crap” cold. But I had places to go and people to see and things to do, so I had to go out. This involved two things: Ensuring my car was no longer covered by six inches of snow, and freeing it from the snowbound prison that our driveway regularly becomes over the course of a winter, because we are to lazy and cold-averse to shovel it.
Now, usually, we just drive over the snow and don’t bother shovelling. It’s not like we often get enough snow to warrant shovelling, and besides, we always drive our 4WD vehicle so my little car is not used much. Normally it’s parked in the garage most of the winter. This year, snow tires and boxes and other miscellaneous crap is parked in our garage, so my little car is in the driveway. So, consequently, whenever I want to take it out, I have to clear it. And this year, the added bonus in the equation is that enough snow has piled up in various places due to plowing and other vehicular movement that whenever I try to drive my car in and out, it has to negotiate a giant hump of snow at the end of the driveway. And one of these days, my little car will either fail to make the jump, or get hung up on top of the frozen pile of snow. So I decided yesterday was as good a day as any to beat back the snow gods.
It wasn’t as bad as it could have been. One of the benefits to the ever-changing southern Ontario winter, when it comes to this sort of work, is the variety of precipitation and temperature. If you’re lucky, you get some powdery snow falling before anything else. That way, whatever you have to clear, if you can just get under to that powdery stuff, the rest just lifts off. Voila! Instant snow removal. This winter, we had some powdery stuff, follwed by freezing wet stuff, followed by more powdery dry stuff. So I was, with a bit of work, able to get a lot of it to lift off.
But it was heavy work, and that powdery level was thin, underneath some pretty hard-packed frozen stuff. It required a lot of jamming and pushing the shovel underneath to lift it. It was a good workout, and I was enjoying the hard work — I was actually getting hot out there in that 2-thousand-mile-an-hour northwest wind — but my wrist was starting to hurt from the repeated jamming of the shovel against solid hard-pack.
I was out for about an hour yesterday, wailing away on this stuff, hacking and beating and shovelling. And who, do you think, comes out onto his porch at minute 57 of all my work? That’s right, THE MAYOR. Now, you just KNOW that he’s been watching me for awhile. It’s what he does. But does he come out, shovel in hand, and offer to help me? Oh no. He comes out in his sock feet onto his porch and holler, “Hey, do you want to use my ICEBREAKER??” (Say “icebreaker” to yourself from here on in the story in the same deep, feedback-filled announcer voice as you’d say “MONSTER TRUCK RALLY” and ‘SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY!” and you’ll get the effect this had in my mind.) I politely declined, saying I was getting through it just fine, and then The Mayor proceeded to tell me, using ICEBREAKER repeatedly in his exhortations, how THE ICEBREAKER would just “rip through all that stuff” etc. Again, I politely declined. My wrist was really starting to hurt at this point, and I could not lift much more anyway, so I said I was just about done. He left with a “Well, alright…” in that lingering voice that indicates that a) I was a FOOL for not using the ICEBREAKER, and 2) I hadn’t NEARLY finished shovelling the driveway and therefore was a bad homeowner and he’d have to tell the Good Homeowners’ Association (read: his wife) about how, once again, we were half-assed in our homeowner duties. And I packed away my shovels and went inside, wrist hurting badly enough that I briefly considered heading to emergency.
So I came in and iced my wrist, and with that, my day of heavy housework was mostly done. But at least the wrist kept my meeting with The Mayor to a minimum. AND, I consoled myself with a large glass of Shiraz with dinner. (And two extra-strength Tylenol before bed, after which I slept like the dead.)
So, sometimes it’s not all bad being a bunch of pansies.