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Shoveling Snow 101

Shoveling Snow 101

By Danielle Kraese

Back when you were a kid, you viewed snow as some sort of magical, enchanting entity. You could play in it! You could make things out of it! You could roll it into balls and pelt your siblings with it! You could even eat it, if you really wanted to—though you had be discreet about that one, because if anyone else saw, they’d point a judgmental finger and call you "Snow Muncher", a mediocre nickname that would somehow follow you all throughout middle school. But at some point—probably when you turned 13 or 14—snow ceased to be magical and just became HEAVY, because it became expected that you would help shovel the driveway/sidewalk/yacht deck after each snowstorm. Fortunately, we’ve put together a comprehensive how-to for successfully completing this soul-sucking chore with time to spare (and if you decide to use that extra time to nosh on a little slush, we won’t judge).

Step 1: Offer your help.

Wait until your parent(s) are already outside, robotically shoveling away as if they were enslaved in some sort of outdoor, arctic sweatshop. Then, ask if they need any help. Though it is highly unlikely, this gives them the opportunity to say no, in which case you can skip ahead to Step 6. If they expect you to do all of the shoveling solo, skip ahead to Step 3, and consider putting in an anonymous call to Child Protective Services before the next snowstorm.

Step 2: Announce that you’ll be out to assist shortly.

You are SO EXCITED to help them that you’re practically jumping out of your fuzzy, feety pajamas. But first, before all the fun can begin, you need to sufficiently bundle up. Reallllllly slowly. It may seem like you’re deliberately taking your time, but such is not the case. You just really can’t rush the process of putting on proper attire.

Step 3: Dress warm.

Layer up, but not too much or else the entire surface of your body will become encased in a swamp-like sweat. Your ensemble should probably include some stylish long johns (are there any other kind?!), several pairs of socks, and gloves that you don’t mind wiping snot-cicles on.

Step 4: Prepare your iPod.

Put together a playlist that will help pass the time and also serve to suit your mood while shoveling. Some suggestions: B.B. King’s “The Thrill is Gone,” Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine,” Louis Armstrong’s “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen.” Now, you’re ready to move some snow mounds!

Step 5: Show how incompetent you are with a shovel.

Throw the snow back onto spots that have already been cleared out. Fall over from the weight of the packed shovel and twist your ankle. Make sure to put a dent in the mailbox on your way down to the ground. You’ll know your work is done when your parents beg you to stop helping.

Step 6: Go back inside.

Change out of your wet clothes, scrape the snotty ice from your nose, and curl up by the fireplace (or stovetop, if you don’t have a fireplace). Perhaps make yourself a frothy cup of hot chocolate. You can even go ahead and throw some extra marshmallows in that bad boy. You earned it.

Do you parents make you help shovel snow? We feel like Step 5 will put a stop to that REAL fast.

Topics: Life
Tags: guides, winter, snow, funny things, how to, chores, snow shoveling

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About the Author
Danielle Kraese

Danielle writes, performs improv, and loiters in Starbucks locations in and around New York City. When she grows up, she wants to be an author or an elephant whisperer. Or maybe both. Follow her on Twitter @DanielleKraese.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.

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