Thursday, February 26, 2009

Shovel envy

I still don't get how to do kind of outdoor maintenance activities. I live in an apartment so I don't have to water, grow or mow a lawn. Someone else takes care of all those pesky leaves that are too chickenshit to hold onto a tree branch through the winter. I don't do windows. But whenever it snows, I am responsible for either shoveling my walkway and back stairs, or trudge through the elements through the spring thaw. Which is actually in August here since my place faces in completely the wrong direction.

Earlier this winter, my mom was nice enough to get me my own shovel and ice melt jug so I could make sure my Dooney bag and I didn't fall down the outside stairs in an icy display of pain. After the first few snows, I decided that the little bit of shoveling wasn't really so bad... after a few beers... and when you slip and take a digger into a snowbank, the alcohol numbs the pain. Ah yes, beer shoveling. But I digress.

Two snowstorms after I first used the shovel, my new red shovel, the shovel came up missing along with a third of a jug of windshield washer fluid and less than half a tub of ice melt. I know it was stolen by some unruly neighbors who had just moved, and I hope they mistake the ice melt for course salt and use it to rim a margarita glass.

Eventually, my mom took pity on me and, since I refuse to ever go into a Home Depot, bought me a new shovel. A pretty green shovel. A new shovel so heavy-duty it was sure to withstand even the wettest, bloppy snow. I used this shovel for a few more snows, and then this week welcomed a little spring. When I got home from work on Tuesday, I noticed there were maintenance people who had been seemingly cleaning up my yard area, pruning the trees and raking up leaves.

And using my shovel. I know this because the shovel had moved slightly from right next to my door to a few feet away.

Yesterday, I got home from work and noticed there was more raking and general yard clean-up, and the shovel was leaning against my door after having clearly been used.

Today I got home, and my shovel was gone. Gone was my shovel. I picture some plumber-crack-clad maintenance person soiling themselves with maniacal laughter as they slowly caress my shovel while driving away in their dirty truck. I am devastated. I loved that shovel. It was a good shovel, and I refuse to go to Home Depot to get another.

Did the yard clean-up guys abscond with the shovel, or are there darker forces in play? For instance, I just watched The Strangers the other night and I'm wondering if maybe the shovel was one of the creepy movie killers. I already haven't slept without a light on since watching that movie, now do I wonder if the shovel is going to show up in the middle of the night, wielding a knife to secure my untimely demise. I picture the scene something like this:

*Knock, knock*

Holly: Hello? Who's there? *Looks out the door near the window and sees the outline of a snow shovel silhouetted by the porch light*

Shovel: Is Tamara there?

Holly: *Clicks the deadbolt* I already told you, there's nobody here with that name. Please go away.

Shovel: Oh, sorry. *Shovel shuffles off down the sidewalk*

*Holly proceeds to shrug off the incident and drink a beer (big surprise), but the camera pans over and we see the blurred image of a scary shovel wearing a bag-like mask over its handle, inside the house.*

*Fast-forward to a highly suspenseful series of events where Holly hides from the mask-wearing shovel, defends herself from the mask-wearing shovel and eventually gets tied up and ultimately stabbed by the shovel*

Holly: *Tied up and bloody, waiting to get killed* Why shovel? Why are you doing this to me?

Shovel: *Without feeling, still wearing the scary mask-bag over its handle* Because you were home.

*Shovel stabs Holly and the movie ends*

(Apologies to those who have not seen The Strangers, I might've spoiled the whole movie for you.)

One day I'll live in a place where shovels can roam free, where they can sit beside a door and not get taken against their will, where I don't have to go to a Home Depot.

Until then, I'd like to find the shovel-stealing jerks and hit them upside the head.


1979 semi-finalist said...

I'm blown away that you would have not one, but two shovels stolen from you. This seemingly small thing I think just indicates how much the world really does suck.

Also, did you know that Strangers flick (which I have not yet seen but I don't think you gave away anything that wasn't in the previews) is incredibly loosely based on a true story? In other words, a horrible thing that in no way relates to what happens in that film happened to some people in a house in California once? The real story is horrible (although largely unsolved)...actually come to think of it, that may be the only thing the two stories (real and film version) have in common, as those people in the preview scared the bejezus out of me...almost as much as reading about what maybe happened in real life.

I swear this post made sense when I started...

dolt said...

Next time your mother goes to buy you an ergonomic, D-handled snow shovel, thread a cable bicycle lock through the D-handle. Also around a railing or, other handy attached permanent outdoor feature.

Do not allow the shovel inside.

dolt said...

...oh they look like this:

The bent look helps keep your back from taking on a similar look.

Holly said...

Kel- Yeah, I guess it's loosely based on a couple of different stories. It's still scary as hell!!! But your post made sense, after a glass of wine. ;)

Dolt- I thought of that today, actually! For now, though, I'm banking that it doesn't snow until next November.