Snow has been in the news lately. So it’s time to review the terms by which you can measure your angst.
Plowable: Big trucks will be out to push the snow aside, narrowing the streets until late April.
Shovelable: You’ll have to get out there with the trusty ol’ shovel to clean off the sidewalk. Remember to lift with your back. Bend those knees. In fact, why don’t you do some squats right now? I don’t mean sitting in a chair and watching TV, which is also “doing squat.” Squats, plural.
(Speaking of TV, there should be a TV exercise show, like the old Jack LaLanne, just for Minnesotans. We’d swaddle up and grab a shovel and get limber. “And scoop it up and toss that snow, and scoop it up and toss that snow, and scoop it up and clutch your back. and toss that snow and grip your chest! Annnnd give it up and storm inside and sell the house and move Down South!”)
Lamentable: Just enough flakes to look serious, falling on the mums and fall flowers like radioactive fallout. You know it won’t last, but you bewail the message.
Negotiable: When you see flakes and try to make a bargain with the weather. “OK, OK, I’ll give you this for some 50s in November. Deal? Hello?”
One way to head off snow anxiety is to prepare for the worst. So, negligible though the early snow might be, I’m rushing out to buy a snowblower. Yes, it’s the same exquisite timing that makes me buy gold when the market drops. Sure, I could have bought a snowblower at the end of last winter when the stores were having sales on them, but I didn’t need one then. That’s when I bought a lawn mower.
So now that I’m ready to buy one, the only question is: What kind?
The first decision is electric or gas. I know myself well enough to be certain that if I go with electric, I will run over the cord, causing a nice zesty PZZAP! that makes my skeleton blink on and off for a few seconds before I head in the house, hair smoking, and get new boots because my toenails blew out the front of my galoshes.
So it’s gas. I’ll get one with a headlight, obviously; I’d hate to have a head-on collision with a pedestrian. I’ll add turn signals, if they have them.
Then there’s the debate between one-stage or two-stage. A one-stage uses the blade to throw the snow. A two-stage uses the blade to throw the snow to another blade, which barfs it out. It’s more expensive, but it’s more powerful, and will make squirrel chum if you run into a buried obstruction.
If they can make smart robotic vacuum cleaners that roam around your house, why not a self-driving snowblower? It could use GPS to go up and down the sidewalk. You could control it by an app on your phone. Of course, someday you’d fire it up only to find it requires a software update and you won’t remember your password and it will be useless. But that’s the modern way.
Anyway, I intend to walk into the showroom to get a basic one-stage, and I know I will walk out with a two-stage with heated leather handles and satellite radio. But I’m not a soft touch. Do I also want a rock-bottom deal on a gas grill? Nah, maybe next spring.
When I get home, Spouse will ask, “Are you going to snowblow or what?”
“As soon as I accept the terms and conditions.”
But we already accepted the terms and conditions of living here, long ago. And we’re good with that.