Thursday, December 30, 2010

Plowing with spite.

Buzz's comments in my previous post reminded me of a story.  It again is about being a good neighbor.

The street I live on is all tract housing.  Duplexes (legal description is townhouse and it sounds so much more elegant). I told Buzz that I usually plow a lot of sidewalks when I have my four-wheeler running.  I like to do it and ever since I started wearing my snowmobile helmet and goggles, the only thing that ever gets cold is my toes.  I just drop the blade at one corner, push the snow into the street and then go to the next corner and do it again.  I only know a couple of my neighbors by name but I know more than a couple by sight and usually get a nice wave if someone is doing their driveway when I go by.

A couple of years ago I happened to be in Belgrade at lunch so I went to my little townhouse.  Had a sandwich watched some TV and probably took a 45 minute nap. It had snowed the day previous and I had done my plowing of sidewalks. Anyway, I jump in the grizwagon and head back to work. I live on the north end of the block. As I get to the south end, I see a little old lady who had just finsihed shoveling a path to her car. The driveways on both sides of her were neatly shovelled.

Sometimes the oddest thing can make me mad.  I immediately thought "if she was my next-door-neighbor, there is no way she'd ever shovel.  What a couple of lazy motherfuckers that live next to this old lady and won't do her driveway." There are a lot of things I can put up with, but laziness isn't one of them.

When I got home that night, neighbor Casey was standing outside having a lungdart.  I grabbed my shovel.  He asked me what I was doing.  I told him about the Old Bird down the way who had shitty neighbors and that I was going to do her driveway.  He grabbed his shovel and came with me.  We did her driveway the rest of the winter.

I don't know what happened to her. I did notice that her car disappeared that summer.  I never knocked on the door and introduced myself. It didn't matter to me that she knew who was doing it, just that it was getting done.

Now for the fun part.  I kept on plowing the sidewalks the rest of the winter. Except that when I would get to the Old Girl's neighbors, I'd raise my plow and skip their sidewalk.  I'd drive through the snow so that they could see my tire tracks.  I didn't want them to think I just forgot them.  I've always wondered what they thought when they came out to shovel and saw that the people on either side of them had their sidewalks plowed but all they had were Lola's tracks. It makes me smile just typing this. Maybe next time they'll pay a little more attention. Probably not.


Anonymous said...

They'll probably always be oblivous. In Troll County, the realtors have taken to calling duplexes "paired villas".

Buzz Kill said...

That's funny dude. It never ceases to amaze me how selfish people can be. There's a couple of people at the far end of the street that I just don't help with snow or leaves because of things I've seen them do and not do concerning their neighbors during the year.

Truth be told about this past storm, after 7 houses I was soaked and frozen because of the high winds so I couldn't have done it anyway. When I got in the house and got out of the wet clothes, the front of my legs were bright red - first indication of frost bite (learned that in Boy Scouts). Of course I also learned a scout is helpful and freindly, so next time I'll probably bite my tongue and do what I can for everyone on the street.

Jenny said...

I think you and Buzz are both good neighbors.

Milk River Madman said...

I like "paired villas". Makes me think some senorita is going to be serving me a margaritas.

I'd still skip them but then, I'm kind of that way.

Thank you for the kind words.

moi said...

There's a special place in the afterlife reserved for your lazy ass neighbors. It's turning on a spit over a blazing fire.

chickory said...

that was a great story. I could so see this and i love when i see karma meted out in real time. its rare. I have never read the term "lung dart"! funny and kind of horrible dead on. Your compassion towards the old bird is a heart melter.

Milk River Madman said...

There is a special place for them. Once when I was plowing, a guy stopped me and asked me to do his driveway. Said he'd give me $10. I told him now big deal, I'll do it for free. He gave me his address. HE WAS HER NEIGHBOR. Turns out he had to shovel his driveway afterall. I kind of forgot to do it.

I love the term "lungdart" and guess what? There's a story behind it!! Long story short, when I still smoked, I met a rep who smoked and kept telling him "Hey, bum me a lungdart." I made it his nickname. I still call him Lungdart and he quit eight years ago. Good times.

Aunty Belle said...

wow, learning a lot over heah tonight. I also never heered of Lung dart--very apt. AN BuzzK clued me in on first signs of frostbite --never know when ya need to know that. Even for us Floridians.

In Troll County it may be Paired Houses, but a bit up the road they's called "Tandem Homes."

Being an Ole Bird meself, I'se charmed by yore story, MRM. Bless ya, Good Sir!!

moi said...

We call them "casitas."