I know I should probably quit with the kvetching and the moaning and complaining about our current wintery follies. And by follies, of course, I don’t mean the ridiculous (as opposed to embarrassing and out-and-out revolting) state of the Sochi Winter Olympics. No, I’m referring to the constant reminder of how I’m not in grade school anymore, of how adult life rarely gets snow days, and that snow or no-snow, I have to get my butt out of that warm bed to report to the office on days that don’t start with “S”. Assuming, of course, I can chisel a path for my motor vehicle out of the glacier currently residing in my driveway.
All that aside, the fact is that I do, after all, live in a North American city know for having real, bona fide, occasionally-freeze-your-special-purpose-bits-into-jello-pops winter each and every freaking year. It’s not like this is a place made up by a fantasy author that only sees winter from time to time, depending on when the Gods feel compelled to teach those pesky mortals a lesson in humility. Also, scarves.
So, yeah, none of this is a surprise or anything. I should probably shut up about it being winter, then. Or move someplace less soul-crushing so I won’t feel compelled to tweet things like:
I think I’m going to start pulling January and February off my calendars entirely and paste in two pages labeled, “Here There Be Dragons”
— Jason A. Rust (@jasonarust) February 4, 2014
All of this is intended to convey the simple message that, by the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I’m so done with all this cold snowy crap that I’m seriously wondering about my prospects of survival in Florida. Which is saying something considering I loathe temperatures above 80 degrees with all the fury of an angry significant other told to calm down*.
In all honesty, though, up until yesterday, I was only mildly bothered by all the winter we’ve had this year. Sure, I made a few comments here and there about how the kids were likely to be required to put in request forms for time off school this summer when it came time for the family summer vacation. But otherwise, I was content to overlook the inconvenience of it all until March. After all, studies have shown that snow days are an important part of child’s social and educational development**.
But all of that changed twenty-four hours ago. As of Wednesday morning, I’m officially done with this nose-hair freezing nonsense. Old Man Winter, we’re done. Beat it. Please vacate the premises, and don’t let the spring breeze hit you on the ass on your way out.
See, what happened is, Winter 2014 was bad but not unlivable. Kind of like that vulgar cousin that picks his nose you tend to put up with at family functions. But yesterday, instead of a blanket of fluffy, beautiful snow, we were graced a few inches of the white stuff followed by a freezing, obnoxious rain that turned my yard, my deck, and my driveway into an ice skating rink. And then, because the dude who plows my road for the city seems to revel in heaping misery upon me, said driveway was capped with a plow’s-load of ice shards, which fused together to make an Everest of ice though which I had to rocket my middle-aged man Accord like some Hollywood stunt dude in order to get to work.
News flash: The Accord wasn’t quite up to the task. Oh, sure, the back end got out just fine. The front end, though, was snagged by Satan’s Ice Mountain just as I was nearly away. Instead of freedom, then, my front tires spun fruitlessly on the ice, unable to gain any purchase with the street buried inches below.
PS: Nothing makes you feel quite like a lame derpface as blocking your very own road in your ‘hood.
Luckily, a random passer-by, who wasn’t really going to be passing anything by while my car was sideways in the street, stopped, took a shovel he just happened to have with him out of his SUV, and together we freed the helpless Accord. It was a banner day for humanity, really. I wasn’t sure that kind of help still existed in the world.
I thanked him, made a note to help someone else whenever possible (I paid the favor forward later that night), and made my way to work.
After a full of day at the office, I returned home with the knowledge that something would have to be done with the sheet of ice currently inhabiting my driveway. Now, in the distant past, I’ve written about my feelings for shoveling the driveway. I generally tend to enjoy it about as much as doing my taxes while having a root canal done with no drugs and rusty 1850’s dental equipment. But that’s nothing—nothing, I say—like what I had to contend with last night. Having to use a steel spade to break up the ice into 6-inch shards (if I was lucky) before it could be scooped up with the snow shovel felt like the full-body equivalent of trying to peel away an overly sticky price tag from a new DVD.
Except in this case, it was my entire driveway.
It took me an hour just to clear off enough of The Gift Of The Plow from the end of it to fit my car through, and another thirty minutes to find the fabled concrete below Hell’s Own Ice Sheet. After ninety minutes of back-busting labor, I had succeeded in little more than exhausting myself and chipping away not even a quarter of the icy doom covering my drive. But, my friends, it was enough. Enough, at least, to slip the Accord up and into the garage.
As for the rest of it, I’m praying the sun will come out soon and make it a melty enough slush to let go of its unholy grip outside my garage. If that doesn’t happen soon…
Well, frak, they’re calling for more snow on Saturday.
Screw you, winter, I’m moving to California.
*Kids, don’t try this at home. I’ll sum it up for you: it’s never, ever results in calming
**I totally just made that up.