My John Brown Snowblower

Today, the Twin Cities was smothered in 5 inches of heavy, spiteful snow. The unwelcomed storm once again reminded us that, like a rottweiler chained to a Buick, we Minnesotans will never escape winter. Here in the north country, even the skies oppose us.

The worst thing about such storms (besides the snarled traffic and wet pants and suicide) is the fact that they always end with me having to shovel out our driveway and sidewalks, like a low-blooded Slavic manservant. Injury is usually added to insult in the form of lower back pain, dislocated hips, and a sore throat from screaming swear words (I spell them out instead of saying them so it’s not immoral).

And so tonight, after I had gently laid my son to sleep and dutifully did the dishes for my wife, I fastened my greatcoat and padded my loins and prepared to shovel once again. A glance out the window, however, made my heart leap in my chest – our driveway and sidewalks had already been cleared!

I do not know who is responsible for such generosity, but I will say that their selflessness and benevolence makes Gandhi look like Charlie Sheen on spring break. Who knew such heroes still existed? When Hulk Hogan long ago made the shocking revelation that his Adonis figure and adrenalized rampages were the result of steroid use and not just proper vitamin intake, the scales fell from my eyes forever. I couldn’t bring myself to believe in anyone anymore. I once even went so far as to spit in the face of the police officer who changed my flat tire.

As Han Solo was encased in carbonite and sold to Jabba the Hutt, so I have been encased in a chilly cynism and sold to Somali pirates and forced to wear a metal bikini. Yet the brazen goodness of tonight’s act may once again allow me to believe in the better angels of our nature. Maybe this mystery snowblower was a modern day John Brown – wild-eyed and righteous, calling us out of our amoral doldrums by clearing our sidewalks and killing Virginians.

My neighborhood.

You aren’t mouldering in the grave any longer, John Brown! You’re in north Minneapolis now, which is marginally better! Glory, hallelujah! I believe again!

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5 Responses to My John Brown Snowblower

  1. John says:

    So I think what I got from this was someone else shoveled your driveway, but I’m not sure. I’m not a high school guidance counselor; I don’t speak repressed angst.

  2. Tim Hopps says:

    I’ll take credit for clearing your walks, Peter.

    I didn’t do it, but I’ll take credit.

  3. gary says:

    Great stuff Peter, Posts like this keep me checking your blog week after week.

  4. peter says:

    Thanks, Gary. Feel free to give me some money sometime.

  5. Adam says:

    I was going to do it, but then I remembered seeing you smile once, and was thrown into convulsions. They were so strong that I hit my head on the wall and knocked myself unconscious. When I awoke I was strapped to a table. I only made my escape last night when my guard got too close and I was able to use his mace on him and grab the keys. Once I was free from the room, it wasn’t too hard to avoid detection as I made my way out of the building until eventually I was running barefoot across the snowy lawn, hospital nightgown flapping open behind me as I made my way to the safety of a nearby warehouse.

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