Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery






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Monday, March 19, 2007


Fun With Slush

A very snowy weekend here in New York. It came down heavy on Friday and Saturday morning found a buttload of slushy pyucch on the ground. I slipped and slided down the steps as I took my dogs out for a walk and had the boundlessly joyful New York experience of negotiating my way around an intersection entirely overcome with disgusting slush and street juice. It was a trek.

So when I got back I sat on my couch and continued reading Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals, which I am enjoying tremendously in spite of my shame at having to wait for it to come out in paperback because I'm loathe to shell out hardback prices these days. I relaxed and did my best to ignore the sounds of my landlord struggling with the gunk on the sidewalk. After awhile, though, my conscience got the better of me and I put on my mukluks and headed down to help the guy out. There are two shovels in the building, so I picked up the crappier of the two and chipped in.

My landlord, meanwhile had found the snow/ice rough going and had retreated into his apartment to bring forth his little tiny snow blower. Folks, let me just say that tiny snow blowers are a shitty idea, even for city-dwellers who don't have room for the John Deere Snow-a-Pault 3000. Tiny snow blower are basically as affective as sucking up a spoonful of sugar with a straw and spitting it out.

Meanwhile, I was doing pretty well with the plastic shovel my landlord had been using. I'd cast aside the old, aluminum foil jobby that had been beaten to the point where it was really not good for anything other than maybe stirring cream into a giant vat of coffee. I got into a nice li'l rhythm and cleared away the entirety of the sidewalk in front of our building while my landlord--abandoning his snow blowing--went and got more salt. (And can I just say that snow-melting salt just always makes me want to go get a huge soft pretzel?)

Yesterday, I decided that it might be a good idea to dig my wife's car out so that I wouldn't have to do it at 6:30 this morning. The plastic shovel was as ineffectual as Ann Coulter manning a suicide hotline. The street slush had frozen to the point where I was doing nothing more than scraping a tiny layer of disgusting crap off the top. The hardware stores around us were closed, so buying a manlier shovel was out of the question. The guy who offers to help you with his metal shovel if you pay him sneered at me as I no-thanked him and told him I'd try it on my own.

In the end, I came up with a pretty effective method in which I slammed my heel repeatedly on the ice and broke it up enough to then scrape it away with my Happy Meal shovel. It took an hour or so of slamming, scraping and dumping, but I eventually got almost every filthy flake away from my wife's car and, I have to say, she had a pretty easy time pulling out this morning.
So why the hell am I taking the time to write about something so completely fucking mundane as shovelling goddamn snow? Well, I'm actually a little troubled by how into it I got. I was really enjoying the shovelling. And then, after I finished--both times--I had this utterly retarded sense of pride looking at the clear spots I'd made. I even brought my wife over to the window so she could admire my section of sidewalk compared to others on our block which had been done extremely half-assedly. I'm such a fucking dork.

Glad you & Patrick got to have some fun in the snow! Say hello to him for me!
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