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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Snow business

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I know that what I am about to ask will be mocked and ridiculed, but here goes:

Why do people shovel snow?

As soon as the local news predicts even a modest potential downfall, my neighbors begin prepping themselves for their battle with the white stuff.

Shovels are readied, snow blowers are gassed up and I can already see Keith at his window peeking through the blinds, poised to dash out on his walk and begin shoveling at the sight of the first flake.

The first flake is usually Tom, my other neighbor, who not only pre-salts his driveway, but takes before and after photos for his Facebook page.

And then there's Roger, the only man I know with an ergonomic snow shovel collection, most of which look like regular snow shovels that were run over by an SUV or got caught in a closing garage door.

And finally, there's Hugh, who this past blizzard fired up his Briggs and Stratton and plowed everyone's driveway and front walk ... not because he has a big heart, but because his snow blower has a big gas tank and the on/off switch doesn't work.

Within hours of the final bit of accumulation, every driveway -- except mine -- is completely free of snow and ice.

The tiniest icy patch is deemed by the threesome as egregious as a stray tuft of dandelions in July.

My neighbors eye each other's handiwork and contemplate strategies for future shovel-ready projects.

Let's look at this snow thing objectively. After the most recent winter blast, we had about eight inches of snow and ice in our neighborhood.

Nobody could get out of our street and even if someone did, the side roads to the major arteries were impassable.

By the way, if you get a similar kind of diagnosis from your doctor, you have another reason not to shovel.

Me?

Just barrel out of the garage atop the ice and snow, run my errands, then maneuver back into the driveway, aligning the car with my recent tire tracks.

I get out of the car in the garage and walk through the door and then directly into the house.

My feet never touch the snow.

Did I even need shoes?

Come this summer when I'm just going to the drive-thru for a burger, I'm wondering why I even need to bother putting on ... well, never mind.

What about the walk that leads to my front door?

The Wolfsies seldom use that entrance and honestly, we don't get many visitors. But I would happily open the door for people handing out religious brochures, Girl Scouts taking cookie orders or college kids selling magazine subscriptions.

They'll just need to bring their own shovel.

I have carefully explained my theory of benign neglect to Tom, Hugh and Keith, which I don't think they buy, because it was the same explanation I gave them last year when I refused to rake my leaves or mow my lawn.

It was also last summer that I lost my bid to be president of the neighborhood association.

As I write this, snow is starting to fall again.

I'll grab a cup of hot chocolate and watch all the activities from my living room window.

It pains me to see my neighbors working so hard.

Maybe I'm just an optimist, but I know that someday all my problems will just melt away.

For the past 16 years on WISH-TV's Daybreak, Dick Wolfsie has lent his unique brand of wit and humor to the screen.

His video essays and personal stories are unique to Indiana television. Many are syndicated nationally