Top Tales of Snow Removal
Everyone knows who knows Oh, Cassius! knows that we are not huge fans of cold weather. John is of Cuban and Southern Italian descent and I am just a pasty post-thyroidectomy patient who has trouble staying warm.
God only knows then why both of us chose to attend colleges in the tundra like conditions of America’s extreme north – John in Minnesota and me in Maine. Perhaps now we have come to understand it was only to properly prepare us for the epic winter, coldest in 111 years, of 2015.
So, to kick off the new blog function on our brand new website, where we will offer up on a semi-regular basis our own take on the internet’s favorite delivery method, the Top Arbitrary-Number-of-Whatever-Random-Thing-List, here are our
Top Tales of Snow Removal
1. The School-Play-Prop-Warrior-Shield-as-Shovel
I remember it only too well. The drama department was putting on a musical production of Medea, complete with singing Greek chorus. I was cast as one of the leaders of the soprano section that came with it the honor of attending extra rehearsals and a somewhat more decorative rope around my shapeless toga. Rehearsals took place in the dead of winter (most of the school year was winter, but this was right in the heart of it) and because I had a 4 wheel drive Subaru, I often had the job of shuttling other off campus cast members to rehearsals. On one occasion, a young male cast member, one of the warriors, accidentally left his hand painted wooden shield, lovingly created by the skinny, long-haired chain smokers in the stage tech department in my back seat. It went on for several weeks – you know how it goes, every time I brought it, I forgot to take it out of the car or he forgot to come with me to the car to get it or got a different ride. There it was, annoyingly taking up half the back seat.
Little did I know how fortuitous it would be for me. An especially aggressive storm struck on the day after a not entirely innocent on-campus sleepover that left my car in a 3.5 foot snowdrift with solid ice bricks around three of the tires just as one of my roommates urgently called me for a ride to the airport as she had been urgently called to fly home for a family emergency. I found myself in one of the campus parking lots without a shovel. And as this was pre-cell phone days, once I got to the far away lot, I had no way of letting anyone know I needed assistance other than to walk all the way to someone’s room probably a half a mile away in bitter cold who was not guaranteed to be there to help me anyway.
But I am resourceful, if nothing else, and I spied that warrior shield in the backseat and had a “Eureka!” moment. It’s pointed edge would serve as an ice pick, while it’s flat edge, a shovel. I started the engine, turned the defrost up high and got to work.
If you don’t know what a bundled up college student looks like digging out a station wagon with a prop from a Greek tragedy, I feel sad for you, for I am certain that it is one of the most hilarious scenes a person can accidentally come upon. At least that is what I assume, given the reaction of the car full of rugby players who discovered me in this state.
They praised my creativity and general grit for getting as far as I got (I think I had one tire free and most of the snow shoveled away), but in a dying breath of chivalry, they got out of their car, with shovels, and finished the job so I could drive away.
2. Child’s Cymbal as Ice Scraper
Just a few short weeks ago, similar to today, we experienced the most unpleasant of the winter weather patterns – the rain on top of snow followed by unusually low temperatures. This rare occurrence results in a thin, seemingly impenetrable layer of ice that covers one’s automobile in a coating so difficult to remove, it’s comparable only to the shrink wrap around cd covers (we all know this is the real reason the CD is dead).
No matter how many times I buy a scraper as I’m leaving Bed, Bath & Beyond, utilizing yet another 20% discount coupon, I still never have one in my car. The road behind me must literally be littered with a multi-colored assortment of the latest and greatest in scraper technology. Regardless of this fact, the other morning, I found myself up against the cruelest of all ice coatings with absolutely nothing but my jagged fingernails and the desperate need to leave within five minutes to avoid being late for the day’s engagements.
As I rummaged through my trunk, always a Mary Poppins like wonderland of forgotten objects, I caught the reflection of a brass object with a narrow, blade like edge. Much to my delight, this was one half of a child’s cymbal set, given to me by John after it was discarded by the music program at the school where he used to work.
I would not be surprised if the next innovation in scrapers I see at Bed, Bath & Beyond are disc shaped scrapers with the handle in the middle because this thing worked better than any plastic contraption I’ve absent mindedly dropped or loaned and never received back.
Behold - http://instagram.com/p/z0gx4pAhYs/
3. And finally, John has a recommendation for those of you in neighborhoods where this level of snow significantly reduces available parking.
To ward off irate neighbors intent on claiming the street parking in front of their house, despite that being illegal and just ... well ... anti social, go the extra mile while digging your own car out by also digging theirs out. While this isn't a time saver per se, it will absolutely come in handy when the last spot on the street happens to be in front of said neighbors house. And it's a hell of a work out! Now go reward yourself with a hot toddy.