Just after Halloween this year, I went shopping at Home Despot. Home Despot and I are well acquainted. While doing my eternal home remodel this spring and summer, employees greeted me each and every day. For weeks. They called me by my first name. Some called me other things.
So it was in early November- that I did the unthinkable. I was exiting the lawn and garden area and heading to the cashier. A cashier at Home Despot is required to stand in front of their till if they are not doing anything. This is how corporate America gets it's money worth. At any rate, there is this cute gal standing in front of her till like a good soldier. I know if her line is empty that there cannot possibly be one straight man left in the joint. I hit the rocket boosters just a touch... and out of my peripheral vision I spotted the snow shovels. Shit.
Last year, we had this wintery surprise attack in Boise. A storm dumped 6 to 7 inches of wet and nasty snow. I do not particularly care about these things, having come from the land of 3 foot dumps, except that my mother is creeping up in years. Her driveway is not immune from these attacks and I have evolved out of complete self centered-ness to a point where I only think about myself 97 to 98% of the time. I have devoted 2-3% of my time to thinking about things other than myself. Or thinking about things like my mother's snow shovel and her driveway.
Last year, immediately after the big snowstorm, I decided to shovel my mother's driveway. This as it turns out, was a singular event. I arrived at her house to find absolutely nothing capable of moving back breaking, wet snow. There was a thing that looked like a hoe. The cheapest shovel one could imagine. Flat blade and dish, rusted edges all knurled up like elves shoes. Geezus I think, it would be easier to just kick the snow off of the driveway. Did she actually use this thing? Not a chance. That relic had undoubtedly been left in the garage by my long since departed brother. Precisely where he left it, 20 years ago. So it was that day, I needed something usable.
I got in my truck. I went to Home Despot. Out of shovels. I then went to Fred Meyer. Out of shovels. A trip to the hardware store. Out of shovels. While scouring the neighborhood, I did what all desperate men do. I decided to steal the first shovel I saw. I stole my lazy landlord's. Gawd knows, he probably forgot he had one.
The memory of that day and two hours of back breaking shoveling caused me to stop dead in my tracks. I whirled around and bought the most expensive snow shovel in the store. That is not like me. This baby is made of titanium and a metal discovered at an alien spaceship crash near Roswell, New Mexico. Secretly, I want to use it. That is also not like me. Trust me. I view laziness as a virtue.
So I bought this shovel well in advance of any storms. Unthinkable type of planning for a guy like me. And just as sure as I did, winter has been canceled in Boise. Day after day, it has been sunny and warm. Day after day. Cops riding motorcycles. Morons riding motorcycles. Women in grass skirts. The extended forecast? More of the same.
I'll tell you what I am willing to do. If any one of the six people who read this blog need help canceling winter where you live, just let me know. I will be more than happy to come to your house, eat your food and drink your beer while we sit these winter months out. I'll bring my shovel. It's magic.