Sunday, December 5, 2010

Snow Plow and Small Town Living

I had planned to take an afternoon off this weekend and do some late season pheasant hunting. First, I had to clear the snow that had accumulated Thursday night and most of Friday. It wouldn’t be such a bad job if I didn’t have an ongoing battle with George, head of the City Shop and primary snow plow driver. In a lot of ways I find the whole thing amusing and somewhat reminiscent of the rural mail delivery madman Crumb Petrie in the 1988 Chevy Chase film Funny Farm. In the film Petrie drives over the mailbox, throws the mail at Chase’s character and commits a number of other hilarious acts. Our George hasn’t driven over our mailbox (we don’t have one), but he has buried our driveway in up to three feet of snow on a good day (for George). After he passes with the snow plow I can count on at least half-an-hour, if not more, digging out the driveway entrance—even with my snow blower! The problem is simple enough, George must clear the road and when he passes my drive his plow mounds up the snow.

George is actually a pretty nice guy and we are both members of the Finley Wildlife and Gun Club, but I can’t help but picture a slight upturn of his mouth when he first eyes my driveway and slowly, carefully, and corresponding to the distance closed as he nears my driveway, his features begin to take on a distinctive Snidely Whiplash sneer as the snow that had once blanketed the street is scraped from the asphalt and gloriously pilled in my drive--the new guy's drive. Sometimes, while standing in my kitchen looking out the window and watching George bearing down on my driveway that I had spent half-an-hour clearing (with my snow blower), I want to grab my cane and run into the snow-covered yard and shout at him to spare my driveway, or maybe chuck a few snowballs at the massive plow. Instead, I wonder if my insulated coveralls have finished drying and whether I’ve got any Grabber foot warmers to tuck in my boots while I dig out the driveway--again.

Such is life in a small, rural community in North Dakota.

Maybe a pheasant hunt for Cookie on Tuesday.

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