A Twist of Humor

This is a column with a twist of humor. A new column will be posted every Monday.

Location: Newfoundland

I was born, raised, educated, and married in Toronto. I moved to Newfoundland twenty some years ago with my wife. So far nobody has asked me to leave. My wife asking me to leave doesn't count.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Snow Beast

This column was originally printed in The St. John's Telegram on January 7, 2005.

Heaven help us, another winter is upon us.

I hate winter.

I know this will not please the winter enthusiasts and those who make a lucrative living from their dementia, but in my opinion winter is nothing but a gigantic grab bag of frustration, designed to drive sane people mad and mad people to the ski slopes and to worse winter pursuits, like ice fishing or, God forbid, snowmobiling.

You may think staying at home and hiding from old man Winter and his henchman Jack Frost would be a good option. Think again. Winter is a relentless and heartless adversary that will seek you out wherever you may be.

For instance, one frosty day, having a sore back, calloused hands and percolating anger in my heart, I surveyed my snow-clogged driveway – the same driveway I had already shoveled out twice that day.

My worst nightmare coming alive mesmerized me.

After I shook myself from my trance I found that I possessed a new found resolve to right the wrongs of the world, or at least in my tiny snow-covered part of it.

Here is where as narrator of this tragic tale, I have to tell you, that my house is one of a few on a lightly traveled rural road.

After a snowfall the road is plowed and then one or two more passes are made to push the snow to the side of the road, preferably, as far as the Department of Highways is concerned, right up and into my front door. This effectively makes a two-lane rural road into a four-lane rural road. The fact that two of the lanes are through trees, over ditches and my lawn bothers the Department of Highways not in the least. I think they are proud of this. Anyway, back to my tale.

With a pounding sense of injustice in my heart, I labouriously climbed to the top of the snowbank at the end of my driveway and, with a shovel in hand, master of my realm, I dared the evil snow beast to invade my domain.

Then all at once, in answer to my challenge, I heard the beast coming from afar, motor revving, blade grinding on the pavement. I could see snow flying to the side of the road, flung there by the demonic rider of the snow beast. He was sitting in his saddle, eyes feverishly glinting, his mouth drawn back in a wolfish snarl, all the while whipping the beast into a frenzy. Both of them were hell bent on smothering my driveway in snow.

I yelled loudly so as to be heard over the roar of the beast. “Come on, knock me down. Bury me in my driveway with all the snow in the world. I dare you.”

He dared. Efficiently, and with no more remorse than a tax collector taking the last dollar out of your piggy bank, he buried me beneath a world of snow. No, he buried me beneath a universe of snow.

I shoveled and clawed my way out of my icy prison, and as I lay in the snow gasping for air I could see my 15-year-old son standing in the doorway of the house. I could tell from the roll of the eyes, the shrug of the shoulders and the prolonged sigh that he was again not impressed with dear old dad.

Life is full of burdens and I happen to be his for the moment. (I’m sure as he gets a little older I’ll get a little wiser. Then again maybe not.)

While I was laying in the snow looking up at the sun shoving and wrestling the clouds out of the way, I was struck by the thought that the same sun that was smirking down on me in my misery, was at that exact moment, smiling down on someone who was lying on a warm, sun drenched, tropical beach.

I was once again made aware that there is no justice, not here, not now, not for me. The sun was being elbowed out of sight by the clouds again and I felt a snowflake slamming onto my nose.

O well, spring is just around the corner.

Isn’t it? Please, isn’t it?

© Mike Cook 2006


Blogger Katie said...

I remember those vicious beasts well from life in Minnesota!
You will be pleased to know that one such predator met his fate in Andorra. Coming down the mountain one day after a particularly horrendous snowstorm I looked over the side of the road, and there, far, far, below me lay a snowplow, on its back, wheels up to the sky....Somehow the sight didn't give me the feeling of security I thought it should....

8:54 AM  
Blogger QuillDancer said...

Mike -- Las Vegas. I've been here 11 years sans snow.

3:16 AM  
Anonymous Anita said...

And I can't stand summer! Some pair we'd be. Once it hits 75 or so I hate being outside. I'll take skiing to surfing anyday.

7:20 AM  
Anonymous Rev. Qelqoth said...

I can't stand the summer either Anita but that stems down to bugs, insects and weird mutations in nature more than anything else. Anything with more that four legs deserves to be destroyed. Except spiders. Spiders kick ass.

8:55 PM  

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