Sunday, March 2, 2014

World War S: The dead-and-buried art of helping your fellow man

Rest easy, friends and loved ones. There’s more snow on the way.
                In just a few short hours, Mother Nature will begin dumping even more of rain’s awkward cousin from the North on my part of the world.
                It’s been a couple of weeks since we’ve had a snowfall of absolutely apocalyptic proportions, and I think I speak for everyone in the area when I say “What’s been the holdup?”
                After all, it just doesn’t feel like winter if I’m not outside using a shovel and a bag of salt to fight off giant menacing snowmen and snowwomen.
                Because inclusion and all.
                Anyway, the forecasters seem to have settled on the 4-8 inch range for how much snow is coming. Although, yesterday it was something like 8-12, so who knows?
                The only things that are certain are that we will get snow and that it will be somewhere in neighborhood of a light sprinkling to enough to make a wooly mammoth burn a personal day at work.
                There’s actually one more thing you can count on when the snow starts to fall in any low-to-moderate amounts: people marking their parking spaces.
                This drives me crazy. Now, it doesn’t happen in my neighborhood, since, for one thing, we all have driveways. But I’d like to think that even if we didn't, we wouldn't all go out and start marking our territory at the first sign of trouble. I guess I just like to think that my neighbors are human beings and not families of wolves or alley cats.
                And it looks like the City of Philadelphia has decided to do something about these deadbeats and their chairs, too.
                I don’t understand the twisted animal logic behind saving a spot. You dig out your car, but before you leave, you get to drag a chair down to the street and leave it there? Then that spot just becomes yours for a couple of days? And if some god-fearing American comes along and moves that chair, as one should do, you get to feel some misguided holy validation when you key that person’s car or slash its tires? 

                Let me get this straight: There’s a stretch of sidewalk in front of my house that I have to shovel when it snows. Do I then have the right to put a chair in the middle of that and act like a bridge troll every time some poor sap tries to walk their dog down it?
                Because if that’s the case, I need to start looking up some riddles and stop letting people just use things that don’t belong to me or them without paying the troll toll first.
                Sure. It’s frustrating to dig out your car, go to work and then come home to see someone else’s car parked there with no other available spots close by.
                Believe me, I get it. I once dug my car out of two massive blizzards with nothing more than a bucket. But I realized that once I left that spot, it was fair game. My sweat and tears didn’t give me the deed to it for a few days.
                Maybe instead of only digging out YOUR precious car and then ferociously guarding that spot like a badger in heat, maybe you should dig out a bunch of spots?  
                You know, act like a community? Help each other out. Get as much snow off the street as you possibly can.
Then guess what? When you come home there will be as many spots available as there are in July and you can leave your spot-saving chair sitting in your “fancy room” room where it belongs.
Now sure, there are some old people out there who nearly keel over digging out their own cars, so they don’t exactly have the stamina to go up- and down the street like Frogger. But I’ve said this before: If you’re an older person and your neighbors don’t do most of or all of your shoveling for free, it either means you are a giant nazi asshole or all of your neighbors are.
Whatever the case is, you should probably move.
And if you’re not an old person or physically disabled and you’re crying about having to shovel a little more than the absolute bare minimum, man the crap up. Your grandparents stormed the beaches at Normandy and you go all to pieces about a little precipitation and elbow grease?
That’s the kind of things that’s going to make Tom Brokaw come to where you live and beat you to death with one of those sticks he used to chase hoops with back in the day.
I guess it comes down to a simple choice really: Get busy shovelin' or get busy having a 74-year old newsman call you “yella” before unloading a can of well-seasoned whoop-ass you on.

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