Diary of a snow shoveler…
December 8: 6:00 PM. 2006
It started to snow. The first snow of the season and the wife and I took our cocktails and sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. It looked like a Grandma Moses Print. So romantic we felt like newlyweds again. I love snow!
December 9: 2006
We woke 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’ve ever had. I shoveled for the first time in years, 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: 2006
The sun has melted all our lovely snow. Such a disappointment. My neighbor tells me not to worry; we’ll 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’s possible. Bob is such a nice man, I’m glad he’s our neighbor.
December 14: 2006
Snow, lovely snow! 8″ last night. The temperature dropped to -20. 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 this afternoon and buried everything again. I didn’t realize 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.
December 16: 2006
Ice storm this morning. Fell on my ass on the ice in the driveway putting down salt. Hurt like hell. The wife laughed for an hour, which I think was very cruel.
December 17: 2006
Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere. Electricity was off for five 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. Guess I should’ve bought a wood stove, but won’t admit it to her. God I hate it when she’s right. I can’t believe I’m freezing to death in my own living room.
December 20: 2006
Electricity’s back on, but had another 14″ of the damn stuff last night. More shoveling. Took all day. Goddamn snowplow came by twice. Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but they said they’re too busy playing hockey. I think they’re 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 have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he’s lying.
December 22: 2006
Bob was right about a white Christmas, because 13 more inches of the white shit fell today, and it’s so cold it probably won’t melt ’til August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel, and then I had to piss. By the time I got undressed, pissed and dressed again, I was too tired to shovel! 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 the asshole is lying.
December 23: 2006
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 says she did, but I think she’s lying.
December 24: 2006
6″. Snow packed so hard by snowplow, I broke the shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the son-of-a-bitch who drives that snowplow, I’ll drag him through the snow by his balls and beat him to death with my broken shovel. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling and then he comes down the street at a 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over everywhere I’ve just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents, but I was too busy watching for the Goddamn snowplow.
December 25: 2006
Merry F!=3D@x@!x!x1 Christmas. 20 more inches of the !=3D@x@!x!x1 slop tonight. Snowed in. The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. God, I hate the snow! Then the snowplow driver came by asking 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 a fricking idiot. If I have to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” one more time, I’m going to stuff her into the microwave.
December 26: 2006
Still snowed in. Why the hell did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She’s really getting on my nerves.
December 27: 2006
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: 2006
Warmed up to above -50. Still snowed in. The BITCH is driving me crazy!!!!!
December 29: 2006
10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave in. That’s the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am?
December 30: 2006
Roof caved in. I beat up the snow plow driver. He is now suing me for a million dollars; not for only the beating I gave him, but also for trying to shove the broken snow shovel up his ass. The wife went home to her mother. 9″ predicted.
December 31: 2006
I set fire to what’s left of the house. No more shoveling.
January 8: 2007
Feel so good. I just love those little white pills they keep giving me. Why am I tied to the bed?
Origins: Homeowners living in the snow belt appreciate the nature of their love/hate relationship with snow. Snow is beautiful and a joy to ski or toboggan on. It’s also utter hell to keep up with. No matter how completely they are cleared, driveways and walkways are soon clad once again in unrelenting blankets of white. Adding to the challenge is the city’s snow plow, which quickly deposits banks of compacted snow in its wake, all too often blocking driveways that have just been cleared by exhausted shovel-wielders.
The piece above is a humorous venting of the frustration felt by those legions of unhappy souls whose task it is to keep their domiciles’ driveways and walkways passable during winter months. What’s beautiful on a Christmas card is far less so when piled deep upon their driveways or churned back onto them by the snow plow.
While the version most commonly in circulation in 2012 lists the first diary entry as “December 8: 6:00 PM. 2006, this humor item is at least a few years older than its putative 2006 date. We found it in a book published in 2003, and predating that was a USENET newsgroup post from January 2000.
As a humor item, its structure echoes that of the “Holiday Party” knee-slapper. It too traces the descent into madness of a seemingly normal (if naive) person, albeit through a series of memos authored by the increasingly harried organizer.
In similar vein is the much-traveled Shelley Berman piece, “Hotel Soap.” While its protagonist is not driven insane by the interaction with hotel staff detailed in the exchange of correspondence between the parties, at its conclusion its very put-upon hotel guest has given in to the intractable and illogical ways of the housekeeping staff.
Barbara “and soap it comes to this” Mikkelson
Last updated: 26 January 2015