I feel silly. And it’s not because I just spent 45 minutes looking for my glasses, only to realize that I don’t wear glasses. No, I feel silly because, for the third time in one week, I’ve spent several hours of my time relocating frozen dihydrogen monoxide with an over-sized spatula from one area of my property to another, knowing full well that it is only a matter of time before even more frozen dihydrogen monoxide replaces it, seemingly out of thin air. How does the saying go? Relocate frozen dihydrogen monoxide once, shame on The Atmosphere of the Earth; relocate frozen dihydrogen monoxide twice, shame on Any Non-Resident of Turks and Caicos. At least that’s what my high school guidance counselor wrote in my yearbook. Look, it’s not so much that I mind the act of relofrodimo-ing – it gets me outdoors, gives me a heck of a workout, and affords the rare opportunity to use a spatula in a pancake-less scenario. It’s the principle of spending so much time and energy doing something that will inevitably be undone that messes with the big wad of Bubble Yum in my skull. Wait a second…did I just…I think I did. Uh oh… BWOOP! BWOOP! BWOOP! WARNING! DANGEROUS LEVELS OF EXISTENTIALISM IN A HUMOR BLOG DETECTED! RECOMMENDED COUNTERMEASURES INCLUDE INGESTING JELLY BEANS OR WATCHING ANY COMEDY STARRING THE WAYANS BROTHERS! BWOOP! BWOOP! Sorry. That was a close one. Now, who wants to watch Little Man?
I’m callin’ it now. Winter is cancelled until further notice. After spending all day shoveling a seemingly endless supply of snow in freezing cold temperatures, I have decided to publicly denounce my wintry faith and heretofore refuse to acknowledge the presence of Dog, the wise old husky who prowls our neighborhood this time of year, and once saved me from a frozen well. From now on, I’m going to scrape my windshield wearing nothing but swim trunks, a Hawaiian shirt, and a snorkel mask. Instead of hearty stews and casseroles, I’m going to be chowing down on cold pasta salad and popsicles out on our patio. Sure, all the furniture is buried under a mountain of crap in our garage, but what our patio lacks in seating it makes up for in wind chill. And if I feel like throwing on some short-shorts and going for a leisurely sunset jog through the woods, who’s going to stop me (other than the four feet of snow I will have to wade through)? They say that denial is also a river in Egypt, and, last I checked, Egypt is hot. Ipso de facto, I am now officially an Egyptian. Do you think I need to let Human Resources know I’ve changed nationalities?
Red-ee? If you are watching Olympic Speed Skating, this is the last thing you will hear before a loud beep prompts tiny men and women, wearing skin-suits that would make Luey Lemmings (that’s the name of the yoga pants lady, right?) herself blush and electric-Kool-Aid-colored goggles, to dig their heels into shoes attached to what look like dull butter knives and accelerate on a sheet of ice in a circle, until they either crash into padding or glide across the finish line or both. Oh, and one more thing: the results of each race are not final until the times are cross-referenced with a frame-by-frame photo finish, which means that it’s not altogether uncommon to announce a winner and then a few moments later say, “Oops, we take it back. The other skater won.” So, wuddya think, parents of future Olympians? There are literally hundreds of events that your child could specialize in. Which one will you force them into under threat of No TV And Candy? What’s that? The one that looks like a bad 1970’s science fiction movie starring Michael York and has a seemingly arbitrary scoring system? Oh. You meant Speed skating. For a minute there I thought you were talking about the one where you ski and shoot – it’s actually more like a bad 1970’s spy movie starring Roger Moore – which would be the less bizarre of the two events in question. To each their own, I guess. First things first: start perfecting your creepy robotic “Red-ee?” in the mirror. You’re going to be saying that to your kid, like, every day.
I’m an idiot.
I know this probably does not come as a surprise, especially to those of you who have been reading this thing since the very beginning, but it had to be said. Why? Because knowing that I am an idiot will help explain the next thing I am going to say.
I love shoveling snow.
That’s right. While Julie Andrews is busy singing about raindrops on roses and whiskers on ferrets (I would be the worst contestant in the history of that show Don’t Forget The Lyrics), I’m outside, in sub-zero temperatures, performing back-breaking manual labor with a stupid grin on my face. Sure, I’m mostly grinning because that’s the way my face froze, but also because I find snow shoveling to be a thoroughly enjoyable activity. The weirdest part? I have no idea why.
On paper, I should hate shoveling snow. It combines two of man’s greatest fears, exercise and chores, to create a megazord of awfulness that turns everything it touches to grumpy. It’s like mowing the lawn, except the grass is a foot-tall and falling from the sky. And unless you’re a millionaire who can afford a snowblower (seriously, do they make those things out of diamonds?), you don’t even get to enjoy the best part of exterior home maintenance: operating extremely dangerous gasoline-powered machinery.
Maybe it’s my childlike infatuation with snow. Maybe it’s the instinctual desire to dig, ingrained in our collective DNA. Maybe it’s the sense of pride that comes with knowing I’m keeping my family safe by clearing our steps and walkways of slippery snow and ice.
Then again, maybe it’s spending hours outside, avoiding all the other chores I don’t want to do.
Don’t tell Wife about that last part.