Thursday, December 8, 2011

#62: Shoveling the Driveway

Winter is upon us. The days are getting shorter and colder, socks are constantly wet from slush, and everyone has a constant craving for chili. With winter of course comes snow if you live in a legitimate city (editor’s note: I used to live in Miami. Not a real city). Snow is magnificent; endless bounties of fun are possible: building forts and snowmen, having snowball fights, sledding, skiing, just to name a few. But, with snow comes menial labor. Dad knows all too well and you hear him grumbling every time the slightest dusting of snow falls, “It’s time to shovel the driveway again.”

Dads everywhere dread snowfall because it means they have to put on layers of clothes, thick socks, and trudge out into the blizzard to clear a path for him to be able to get to work. Some Dads like the task of shoveling snow because it is a way to get some exercise, but with the constant fear of pulling their back the risks outweigh the benefits. Some Dads avoid the task altogether by getting a snow blower, but that is not a real Dad unless the snow blower has an 800 horsepower engine with a supercharger (see Classic Dads #4: Tim “The Toolman” Taylor).

Most Dads will just shovel off the snow on one pass through and call it a day. A dedicated Dad, one who takes pride in a barren driveway, will also make a pass with an ice shovel to pry up packed snow and then bury the driveway in enough salt that it makes the Dead Sea taste like Evian. “It keeps the ice and snow from piling up!” he says, but little does he know you could preserve meats in that eight inch thick salt layer. I guess in the spring when the surrounding grass is dead will he learn his lesson…

When the deed is done Dad will kick open the front door, allowing the cold and snow to drift inside. He immediately begins stripping down to his base layer and each layer is sweatier than the previous. His glasses foggy, his White New Balances looking even whiter with fresh snow caked to them, his bald spot glistening from perspiration, he looks at you with a tired look. “Okay, I have done my exercise for the day, it is time for a beer.” Before you can argue that it is only one in the afternoon Dad is reclined on the couch with a fresh High Life in his hand. Welcome to winter.

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