The Clodhopper Reality (cue Paul Simon's "Slip Slidin' Away":
|3-inch Rubber Soles|
I still haven't developed the "bum hockeys" that kept my grandmother, the inimitable Nanny, off the streets when she was in her nineties, so my preferred mode of transportation is shank's mare. Even in the winter.
For the most part, the fashion boots are ancient history, and I stride along in the hikers or the comfort shoes, but I have to say my neighbors don't make it easy. Not my neighbors here in the condo complex where all pay our maintenance fees and the driveways, walks, and stairs are plowed and shoveled and strewn with ice melt while we sleep.
Our landscape company is so assiduous that one clear dry day in January, when there had been no snow to speak of all season, I saw--and heard--one of them with the industrial strength leaf blower, the one that sounds like an Everglades fan-boat, blowing one leaf and a small twig along the hundred feet of driveway behind our building. When I, ahem, questioned the management company as to why we were spending good money, creating noise pollution, and emitting gasoline fumes to tidy up one leaf, they told me not to worry, that it was included in our overall fees.
So, no, it is not my fellow owners who are the problem. It's those poor excuses for citizens who live on the surrounding streets. Yes, it's cranky rant time, but the more lavish the house, the worse the shoveling. People, just because you are going to get into your Behemoth 750 tank-mobile to drive down the street to mail a letter, doesn't mean that I don't need to use your sidewalk. Are you doing so poorly that you have to chintz on the snow-blowing? Do you tell the guy you hired to clear the snow to ignore anything that doesn't lead from your front steps to your driveway? Do you ask him to pile the snow extra-high between your house and the next so the plebeians have to mogul-jump into the street to make progress? Would it kill you provide a curb cut once in a while? You ought to care about liability, if nothing else, but maybe it doesn't occur to you when you fly off to St. Bart's or Santa Barbara that there are other people on Planet Snow.
Aside to Town Officials: why don't you send around someone to give them tickets? There are ordinances requiring sidewalk clearing, and I'm sure the fines could help out the budget. Maybe you could even cut down on those pesky Sunday morning speed traps along Route 9, you know, the ones near my house. I'd like that very much, please and thank you.