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Friday, January 22, 2016
HAVE STORM WILL SHOVEL
HAVE STORM WILL SHOVEL
There is a big storm heading for Jersey, probably even bigger a little to the south. The TV weather dudes and dudettes are all having stormgasms because in this area winter has been no fun for them.
In expectation of lots of snow, New Jersey has amended a law. For the last few years it has been illegal for kids or anyone for that matter to go door to door soliciting money to shovel walks and driveways. Whoever enforced this law in past snowstorms would have been one of the biggest ass-holes ever, but those people do exist. Thanks to Jersey legislators and Governor Christy shoveling will be legal for this storm.
Whoop-tee-doo! Law or no law, I cannot remember the last time any kid knocked on my door and offered to shovel snow for money. The problem is, shoveling snow is work; hard work. I don’t think kids today like hard work.
Years ago, my friends and I attempted this hard work. We had heard of kids making the rounds on a previous storm and making as much as $50. Fifty dollars in the fifties was a small fortune!
When the next storm hit and school was called off, three of us got together with our shovels and hit the snow covered bricks. Well first we dug out our own driveways, so we started off tired. The first house we solicited offered $15 to dig them out. An hour later we each were five dollar richer and still full of energy.
The next house was a stranger neighbor; Mrs. Krantz. All we knew of Mrs. Krantz was she had no kids, we never saw her husband, and we were told to avoid cutting through her yard. Why? Just don’t do it is all we knew.
Mrs. Krantz seemed nice enough and she was prepared to pay another $15. Once again we were done in an hour. The drive was clear, except for iced in foot and tire tracks from when Mr. Krantz pulled out early in the morning. These tracks were now solid ice and could only be removed by chipping them out. No matter, the sun would be out by noon, and the ice tracks would surely melt away.
Mrs. Krantz did not agree.
“I’m not paying you boys until the driveway is clear. Those ice tracks are a hazard.”
We went back and chipped away. The large aluminum shovels we had were not the proper tools for the task. They bent at the edges and slowly became less and less efficient at the chipping process. An hour later, we again went to collect our fee, but Mrs. Krantz was still not satisfied; apparently we missed a spot or two.
We went back to chipping, which is a bone jarring task, and finally thanks to help from a little sunlight Mrs. Krantz reluctantly paid up.
We were exhausted, our shovels were bent and no longer efficient, and by now most of the neighborhood was either dug out or in the process of being dug out.
It wasn’t $50, but at least we made $10 each. We needed new shovels, but pop would cover that expense along with new proper ice chippers.
I don’t recall shoveling for profit from any other storm. We may have tried one more time, but we damn sure didn’t stop at the Krantz house.