Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I Know How To Shovel It

I do not own a snow blower. We have two cars and a lawn mower. That's enough internal combustion engines for one household. Besides, the dog has provided me with more to scoop than the weather has so far this winter.

I use three different apparatusses, apparati, tools for snow removal — a plow, a scoop, and a shovel.

The Scoop

Or, as I call it, the drift mover. This device is great for moving large quantities of snow, like drifts or that nasty pile at the end of the driveway that the lovely city workers leave when they plow the road. Just ram this sucker into a pile of snow, back it out, then move the snow aside.

This particular snow-removal item was immortalized by a Gladys "Scoop" Jackson. Ms. Jackson would use it to remove even a dusting of snow. So impassioned was she about the effectiveness of this tool, that she sought to use it to pick up the leaves on her lawn one October. She had hoped to popularize this practice and pitched an autumn version of the gadget — called The Lawn Ladle — to several marketing executives. She found no takers.

The Plow

A plow is used for pushing snow out of the way. Do not confuse this with the plow the farmer uses to work his fields. This implement would fail miserably if used for that purpose.

Legend has it that in 1924, a gentleman by the name of Romeo Bellafigura used a snow plow to metaphorically oust the ice from a beautiful maiden’s cold heart. He diligently removed the snow from her driveway for one entire bitter winter, thus gaining her admiration and adoration. The ensuing hot passion staved off any further snowfall that season. Awww.

The Shovel

Unlike the plow, the snow shovel is designed to gather up an amount to be lifted and thrown aside. It is also great for throwing your back out.

Although the shovel is not recommended for removing large quantities of snow, in 1965 one John Henry Sauvé single-handedly shoveled the entire village of Minikin, Ontario thereby preventing that hamlet's first snow day in over 20 years. Mr. Sauvé was given the Citizen of the Year award by the local town council. He was also given the Jerk of the Year award by the local students, which put him in line for several "Flying Snowball" trophies.