I wouldn’t say I actually like shoveling snow, but I have to admit it is one of those mindless things which lets me contemplate the finer things in life.
Things like a 30 foot wide blade which I could build and attach to the back of our minivan in the garage. Open garage door, lower blade, back out once, put van back in garage, I’m done, and back to the finer things in life like watching the hockey game.
My shovel time (annoyingly frequent of late) has also allowed me to contemplate names for the small thrill you get when shoveling compacted snow and you pry up a really large chunk. It is a feeling of considerable joy to snow pushers.
Slabisfaction would work. Snowilicious. Something like that. Moronshoveling maybe.
Never let it be said I am not an intellectual giant. But I digress.
When it comes to shoveling I don’t know about you, but I employ a cross-body, one arm shove technique. You get a good, long push this way which is very satisfying, and it allows for a more graceful fall when you collapse into your snow bank.
Another method is the Blade at an Angle Pretending To Be A Plow Truck Back And Forth style. This is easier on the back, but getting caught making “Vroom vroom!” sound effects can be embarrassing.
Some people go for the Walk Behind/No Effort Push technique, where you just lazily shuffle along, not caring about all the snow spilling out of either side of the shovel. I forgive these ne'er do wells since they are mainly of the younger generation who obviously have not had the benefit of me telling them what snow shoveling was like back in MY day.
I further suspect this practice was created by someone who was paid by the hour.
Actually, I once learned a valuable lesson using this shoddy technique and that lesson was Do Not Briskly Push a Snow Shovel Whilst the Handle is Pressed into your Belly.
It was during this lesson that I discovered the precise location of my body’s centre of gravity – which is good. You never know when that information will come in handy during the work week.
I was in a hurry this particular day, and the handle of said shovel was pressed firmly in my middle, just below my navel (an ‘inny’ if you must know).
In the middle of a truly heroic running shove, the blade hit a crack in the concrete. My forward motion came to a full and sudden stop, and I was propelled upward by my momentum.
I suddenly became the cross piece on a perfect “T” with my shovel at 90 degrees to the driveway, and me at 90 degrees to the shovel.
Time stood still as the implement tried to impale me, very slowly, using its 4 inch wide handle.
I could not have been more perfectly balanced. Arms and legs flapping like some huge, bemitted, flightless bird, I did not budge from my vertical position.
You would think, given my history, I would have been propelled over onto my head - but no. I was just stuck there, handle firmly in my guts, unable to do a darn thing, until slowly, slooowly, I eased backwards to a standing position. Ta da!
Where are the hidden camera crews when you need them most?
Here I had performed a feat worthy of Olympic gold, or at least a spot on the Cirque du Soleil roster, and no one had seen it.
I did, however, have a huge bruise on my gut the next day that was living proof of my gymnastic prowess.
You could hear the awe and admiration in my wife’s voice when she saw the hideous purple contusion. “That’s wonderful dear, now take out the garbage please” she said.
Trust me – there was some awe there.
I think these astounding feats are too good for the general public to miss, so I have decided to hire my own reality television crew to follow me around.
Do you think they’d let me call my show Survivor?