by Andy Dappen

My brother lives in the other Washington (the one back east getting pounded by all the snow storms). Because he’s coming to visit in a week, I’ve been telling him how good the skiing has been at Mission Ridge and and in the backcountry and yet how mild it’s been down in the Wenatchee Valley where we don’t have to actually live in the snow. We get the best of all world — good skiing, easy living. Back in DC he’s been shovelling like a mad man, living without power, and unable to get into his office for a week.

He sent me this predictable, yet very funny Diary of Mad Shoveller. The author is unknown to us and different versions of the story have circulated around cyberspace for years, and yet reading it again had be laughing out loud.

Diary of a Mad Shoveller

December 8:  6:00 p.m. It started to snow. The first snowfall of the season. The wife and I took our cocktails and sat for hours by the window watching the huge snowflakes drift down from heaven. It looked like a Grandma Moses print. So romantic. We felt like newlyweds again. I love snow!

December 9:  We awoke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there be a lovelier place in the whole world? Moving here was the best idea I have ever had! Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a boy again. I did both our driveway and the sidewalks. This afternoon the snowplow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect life!

December 12:  The sun has melted all our lovely snow. Such a disappointment. My neighbor tells me not to worry. We will definitely have a white Christmas. No snow on Christmas would be awful! Bob says we’ll have so much snow by the end of winter, that I’ll never want to see snow again. I don’t think that is possible. Bob is such a nice man. I’m glad he’s our neighbor.

December 14:  Snow, lovely snow! Eight degrees last night. The temperature dropped to minus twenty. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life! The snowplow came back in the afternoon and buried everything again. I didn’t realize that I would have to do quite this much shoveling, but I’ll certainly get back in shape this way. I wish I wouldn’t huff and puff so much.

December 15:  20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4×4 Blazer. Bought snow tires for the wife’s car and two extra snow shovels. Stocked the freezer too. The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think she is silly. After all, we aren’t in Alaska.

December 16:  Ice storm this morning. Fell on my rear on the ice in the driveway while I was trying to put down salt. Hurt like heck. The wife laughed for an hour. I think she’s very cruel. But it didn’t sting as much as $145 to a chiropractor, but nothing was broken. More snow and ice expected.

December 17:  Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere. Electricity was off for 5 hours. I had to pile the blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her. I guess I should have bought a wood stove, but I won’t admit that to her. Geez, I hate it when she is right. Can’t believe I’m freezing to death in my own living room.

December 20:  Electricity’s back on, but had another 14″ of the stuff last night. More shoveling. Took all day. Damn snowplow came by twice. Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but they said they’re too busy playing hockey. I think they are lying. Called the only hardware store around to see about buying a snow blower and they’re out. Might have another shipment in March.

I think they’re lying. Bob says I will have to shovel or the city will bill me. I think he’s lying.

December 22:  Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches of the white stuff fell today, and it’s so cold it probably won’t melt until August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed to go out to shovel and then I had to pee. By the time I got undressed, peed and dressed again, I was too tired to shovel. I tried to hire Bob who has a plow on his truck for the rest of the winter, but he says he’s too busy. I think he’s lying.

December 23:  Only 2″ of snow today. And, it warmed up to 0. The wife wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning. What is she…..nuts???  Why didn’t she tell me to do that a month ago? She said she did, but I think she’s lying.

December 24:  6″. Snow packed so hard by the snowplow, I broke the shovel. I though I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the SOB who drives that snowplow, I’ll drag him through the snow by his family jewels. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling and than he comes down the street at a 100 miles and hour and throws snow all over where I have just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas Carols with her and open our presents, but I was busy watching for the snowplow.

December 25:  Merry Christmas! 20 more inches of the darned slop tonight. Snowed in. The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. I hate the snow. Then, the snowplow driver came by and asked for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad attitude. I think she’s an idiot. If I have to watch “It’s A Wonderful Life” one more time, I’m going to kill her.

December 26:  Still snowed in. Why the heck did I ever move here? It was all her idea. She’s really getting on my nerves.

December 27:  Temperature dropped to -30 and the pipes froze. Plumber came after 14 hours of waiting for him; he only charged me $1,400 to replace all my pipes.

December 28:  Warmed up to above-50. Still snowed in. The wife is driving me crazy!!!!!  Snowplow deposited another fresh dump in the driveway.

December 29: Hiding from the wife in the attic. I’m keeping a sniper’s look-out for that snowplow. I’ll shoot the bastard before he leaves another surprise in my driveway!  Ten more inches of snow. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it will collapse. That’s the silliest thing I have ever heard. How dumb does he think I am?

December 30: Roof caved in. Bob just shook his head. The snowplow stopped in front of driveway to admire collapsed roof and my belatedly shoveling snow… out of the house. Couldn’t help myself and attacked the laughing bastard. He ran like a baby.

December 31: Police built a ladder system over the mountains of snow in driveway left by that sissy snowplow guy. They issued me a summons. Wife read it to me saying that I was being sued for millions for trying to shove a shovel up his “you know what.”   Wife departed with police escort over the ladders to her “mothers” saying she hopes to never see me again. Nine inches predicted tonight.

January 1: Happy NEW YEARS. I set a celebratory fire to what was left of the house. No more shoveling. Haven’t figured out how to get over the mountain of snow in the driveway since the police left with their ladders, not to worry I salvaged the booze.

January 8: Feel so good, but wonder why I am tied to the bed? I just love those little white pills they keep giving me.

This post was originally published on 2/9/10.

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