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New Olympic Sport ?

Sports in Real Life

Jan. 5, 2009
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It's unlikely that snow-blowing will ever become a Winter Olympic sport, and that is a shame. Picture ten of the world's best blowers lined up on a track, roaring, revving and jumping at the start. Envision the white arcs of snow jettisoned into the infield. Athletes wearing parkas, heavy gloves and goggles, with arms held firm on the throttle. It would be a seven-continent winter wonderland (Africa's team may suck, but that's the way it goes).

We could put decals on the sides of these suckers, flags from their home country. Flames, skull and crossbones, anything to make them look mean and cheerleaders dressed in snow shoes and tiny seal-skin bikinis

They race lawn mowers, tractors and wheelchairs; I've seen them.

Living in the city, you may not see the sport in moving mounds of snow, but up here in the boonies (near Port Washington), these guys take this stuff seriously. They jet out of the house at the hint of snowfall. Orange blaze outfits, high boots and goggles. I'm sure these jamokes sit at the window, waiting for frozen precipitation. I hate these idiots, outside with their shovels after only a light snowfall.

When the snow finally hits, and the television weather guys are jumping around like morons (telling us how the storm of the century is fast approaching), my neighbors are ready for action.

I purchased a five horsepower Toro from my brother in law more than ten years ago. Compared to the surrounding neighbor's rigs, mine looks like a Chihuahua to their Burmese Mountain Dogs-a VW compared to a Hummer.

These knobs have machines that actually require turn signals. I don't know how many horsepower these mammoth machines have, but they give mine an inferiority complex. They roar, my machine grinds like a mini-bike. Theirs moves through four feet of snow like butter. My machine makes endless runs at the snow, peeling away a couple of inches at a time like a small dog nipping at your legs.

To top this off, adding insult to injury, the GD snowplow comes around my corner, with no other driveways for hundreds of feet, and dumps several feet on my freshly snow-blown driveway a couple of times a day. With no other houses nearby, the SOB dumps all that superfluous snow on me. My neighbors have these throwers with plastic windbreakers, coffee cup holders, and they get nothing. My little Toro nibbles away at the chunks of ice and snow, slow but sure. This is like the fairy tale of the rabbit and the hare. David and Goliath. The little train, (snow blower,) that could.

I admit I'm kind of a freak. I like to watch the gas gauge go down to fumes, the red light telling me I'm a jag for not pulling over. It's kind of a tingling feeling deep down knowing I could be stranded on the side of I-43. Disturbed, but fun. By the same thinking, I love pushing the envelope of my little Toro. I can't afford one of the big machines, but if this little champ decides to blow it's little head off, I'm going to be forced to buy the Mack truck style snow blower. I like to push it, year by year, and see how long this thing will last…just like my marriage.

I've got this neighbor, (we call him Flanders as in the Simpsons,) who on occasion will blow the snow off my sidewalk. Thanks for the effort jackass, but where are you when the village truck dumps five feet at the foot of my driveway. Want to get to heaven, spend a few minutes on that mountain of snow. Speaking of the Simpsons, who can forget Mr. Plow?

I'm not sure how long my little Toro will last. I hope it outlives my SOB neighbors, but saying something like that is bad luck. How long will it last-the eternal question. Paraphrasing Decker in Bladerunner, "Who knows?"

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