Shannon Stacey

Rerun: Plow laws

(This was written in 2010, but since we’re still cleaning up from our first significant snowfall and we have a new guy in the neighborhood whose method for dealing with this was to throw his shovel and jump up and down, I’m sharing again. He was pretty funny, though. When we smiled and waved at the plow guy, he was totally laughing.)

Every New England neighborhood has one—that guy who goes out the second the last snowflake has fallen, even if it’s the buttcrack of dawn, and cleans his driveway. Not just a quick shoveling, mind you, but the meticulous removal of every last snowflake.

Then the plow truck comes through and buries the end of his driveway with a two-foot tall, hard-packed wall of snow. He rants and raves, hurling obscenties at the driver. (We actually had a woman who hurled snowballs at the truck, which ranks right up there on the list of most hilarious things I’ve ever seen.) He’ll call the town offices to complain and email pictures of the plow bank to the police department.

Sadly, this angry person has yet to catch on to a couple of universal truths about living in snow country.

Plow Law #1: The plow truck will always come through after you’ve cleaned your driveway. If you wait until your road’s been plowed, they’ll do a final cleaning pass while dropping salt after you’re done. If you decide to hibernate for three days and don’t clean your driveway until four days after the storm, the minute you put the snowblower away, they’ll bring the big wing-plow through on a maintenance run, pushing back bankings.

Plow Law #2: Thou shalt not piss off the plow guy. He’s had his ass in that crappy seat for nine hours, he’s wired on Red Bull & No-Doz, and his power—should he choose to use it—is awesome. Don’t want to see your car until spring? He can do that. Want your garbage cans folded like napkins while a week’s worth of your trash is strewn down the street for all to see? On those wonderful days a storm falls on trash day, he can do that. How ’bout making sure the mail carrier can’t get to your mailbox without an excavator and a brick of C-4? He can do that, too.

When you live in the snowbelt and three hours of clearing snow has kicked your ass and you’re leaning on your shovel, thanking the coffee gods you’re finally done and you hear the plow truck coming, take your cue from the Penguins of Madagascar…

Just smile and wave, boys. Smile and wave.

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