'Matter of Laugh or Death,' a humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
THE WINTER OF OUR DISCONTENT
This is the last weekend of February. Howís your winter been going so far? Hmm, that bad, huh? Are you sad the months of January and February are just about over? Yeah, me neither. The first two months of the calendar year are the worst two months of the calendar year. Itís an eight-and-a-half week period that seems like eight-and-a-half lifetimes.
Itís been quite an adventure this winter, hasnít it? I havenít kept track of how many hours Iíve spent moving snow and chopping ice, nor how many gallons of sweat Iíve produced in the process, but if I had focused that much time and effort on something useful, I could have built a new addition to our house.
Letís have a show of hands: how many of you had water leak into your house from all the snow and ice dams in your gutters? Wow, that many? I though my three little leaks were a pain, until I heard about a co-worker who had huge swaths of sheetrock fall from his living room ceiling, along with all the soggy insulation.
On the other hand, I guess itís better than having the entire roof collapse. The last time so many buildings were piles of rubble was in Dresden, 1945 (or in Detroit, 2011). A lot of structural engineers are going to have, in the famous words of Ricky Ricardo, ďa lot a Ďsplaininí to do.Ē
Iíve got a feeling some of the smaller property and casualty insurance companies are going to go bankrupt from all the claims. At least the contractors who do home repairs, guys who have been hit hard by the recession, are going to have a banner year.
And how do you like those potholes and frost heaves? I didnít realize Routes 4 and 202 were cobblestone streets. The folks who do car repairs, especially front end alignments, are going to have a banner year, too.
On the other hand, people who run summer daycare businesses will be hit hard, since children will have to stay in school until about August to make up for all the snow days. And some of those cancellations were on bright, sunny days. The schools stayed closed because the superintendents decided a roof collapsing onto a cafeteria filled with hundreds of students would not be good for school morale and class spirit.
How many of you bought roof rakes? Before this winter, how many of you even knew there was such a thing as a roof rake? How many of you actually climbed onto your roof to shovel the snow? How many slid off and fell into a snow bank? How many missed the snow bank and landed on the driveway? Which hospital did they take you to?
When you raked and shoveled all that snow off the roof, it made rather impressive walls of snow all around your house, didnít it? Where do you think all that moisture is going to go when it melts in the coming weeks? Can anybody say, ďIndustrial strength sump pumpĒ?
And how about those massive piles of snow at every intersection? Itís like driving in a corn maze. Nothing gets the old adrenaline flowing like taking a right-hand turn and then realizing (too late) you just pulled in front of a car doing 40 mph.
Well, at least spring is just around the corner. Soon weíll be able enjoy golf or softball or a nice leisurely walk in the park. I figure all the mud will dry up about mid-July.
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