I was in Chicago over the weekend that was The East End Blizzard. But I got back in plenty of time for all the snow. Two and a half feet of it, in fact. And the size of the snow wall in front of my driveway was about twice as high. I’d called and emailed my neighbors before I got home; I found my friend Joan addressing Christmas cards, including a few to her old beaux. (She even slipped in some pages from an old diary that mentioned him into the envelope.) What an interesting Christmas HE would have, I thought, particularly if his wife was opening the holiday cards.
I found my friend Paula making gingerbread with her family. She offered to send over her strong nephews later in the week or suggested calling a landscaper named Chris. “Maybe he can plow you out.” So, along with 200 other callers (according to Chris’ secretary) I petitioned Chris to come dig me out. “He can’t get to you today- but maybe tomorrow,” Linda said. Please, please, I begged. “Everyone’s begging,” said Linda, unimpressed. Finally she said he’d come the next day. For $150. “But my driveway is the size of a postage stamp,” I replied, regretting the cliche. “It will take two hours,” she said. Two hours? Was he removing it by hand? I’m sure it won’t, I replied. “$150″ Linda said.
So I got busy shoveling. And shoveling and shoveling until my back – and my will – both gave out. And then I got out again before it was light this morning and shoveled some more. It was like breaking concrete. “Call my friend David,” Joan advised.” He will give you a good price.” (She and I had shoveled up a piece of her yard so I could park my car.)
I left David a message and figured that was that (I was probably his Caller 198, after all). Then, as I was out shoveling- again- David drove by. “I can plow you out,” he said. How much would it cost? I asked. “How about $25?” he replied, adding. “Joan is a friend of mine.” Half an hour later David was back – and my driveway was clear. I gave him $40. And the number of greedy -to- good men I know is exactly even right now.