There were some flakes on the ground last week, but they looked like troops that had parachuted into town before an invasion that never happened. I used one of those long-barrel fireplace lighters to destroy all of them except one. Now go tell your leaders what you saw.

Didn’t work. We woke to snow on Thanksgiving, which seemed exactly right. Festive! Currier & Ives and over-the-woods and through-the-river and all that. But it was devious snow, the in-between sort that freezes on steps and windshields, then hides beneath a fluffy blanket. Once you realize how slick the steps have become, you walk down them as if your pants are full of eggs and you’ve a baby in one hand.

Then comes the first big windshield scrape of the season, and you realize how nothing changes. The scraper does not have Bluetooth. It is not Internet-enabled and does not have an app that calculates how much glass you’ve cleaned, then lets you post the event to Facebook or engage in head-to-head scraping contests with others users. The app would be called Scrapr, and it would be free, but for a .99 in-app purchase you could upgrade to stream music from Pandora out of the handle.

At least I had a scraper. In Olden Times, you’d lose it over the summer, and you’d have to use the backup: a plastic cassette-tape case. These worked perfectly well until they broke, but you usually had a half-dozen empty ones in the car, anyway. After cassettes vanished, you had to use CD cases, but the hinges broke too easily, and the case was ruined. You could always tell an alien in human form trying to fit in, because they’d be scraping their windshields with record-album covers.

Hey pal you’re doing it wrong

Why? Does not the external-shielding structure for captured melodies to be used in the era of frozen-state H20?

Man, aliens. Idiots.

Anyway, there’s something comforting about a good, low-tech scraper. It’s a tool of simple utility, no more complex than the first bone a smart ape used to subdue an enemy. When you pick it up at the start of the season, you realize you have rejoined an ancient tradition with spiritual roots.

Namely, praying for spring.