February 12, 2014

Snow Going

This column is not a repeat.

Regular readers know that I recycle, but this is only because I care about our environment.

It is time for my annual snow removal column, because as I write this my driveway is covered with a sheet of ice so treacherous that it scares even me. It petrifies Karen. She recently fell off her bike and hurt her leg. She also has a partially-torn rotator cuff in her shoulder, which surprises me. Usually, only baseball players who pitch 200 innings get that particular injury.

Karen though, does throw quite a few hissy fits and temper tantrums, so that's a possible explanation.

These injuries make it even more difficult for her to maneuver outside. Naturally, she blames me because once again this year I neglected to shovel when snow season set in. Once again I had to lay down the law of the Murphy household. Rick does not shovel snow. Never.

The reason, as regular readers know, is because I hurt my back defending our country. Sure, we could have a clear path out the front door, but what good would it do us if the godless Viet Cong were running this great country of ours?

This sheet of ice corresponds with the Winter Olympics, which is convenient for me. Whenever Karen complains, I say something like, "Just pretend you're in a bobsled," or "Try doing a Triple Jump." Her response, at least the printable part, usually centers around what would happen if she tries to get to her car, slips and breaks her good leg. "That would be a luge luge situation," I said earnestly. She didn't laugh.

To me, the ice presents an opportunity. Going from my front door to my truck is an adventure. OK, ok, so I'm a world class athlete and not everyone enjoys the rare combination of speed and balance that I possess, but I seem to manage quite well, thank you.

What's really scary for Karen is we live in one of East Hampton's "Old Filed Map" developments, which translates to, "even though you pay the same taxes everyone else does we're not going to plow your roads because you are subhuman scum." Basically, then, Karen is trapped inside the house.

"What happens if I need an ambulance?"

"You die."

"What happens if I get trapped outside?"

"You die."

This angers her, but I take the same chance every time I eat something she cooks – death lurks around every casserole.

I have compensated for my unfortunate back ailment by creating the world's first 100 percent guaranteed Snow Removal System. Yes, ladies and genitals, this system will work no matter how much snow is on the ground, and it will clear every inch, and that, my friends, comes with a double your money back guarantee.

This is the precise spiel I used to lay on potential customers when I was a little kid. I would agree to clear away all the snow in their front yards for the modest fee of 50 cents and as always, it came with the patented Murphy double your money back guarantee. Better still, these customers had my word, and that folks, is something you can take to the bank. (In fact, regular readers should stop reading this immediately, go to the bank, ask for money, and tell the manager I personally guarantee the repayment.)

I usually chose little old ladies as my victims . . . er, clients because they were the most in need of my snow removal services. (Should they choose to chase after me I could also pitch my brand new Hip Replacement System to them.)

You know the rest. Inevitably some little old lady would jack me up in the supermarket and say, "Hey, you little punk! (Sometimes they would call me a loud mouth punk.) You stole 50 cents from me!"

That's when I would become indignant.

"I beg your pardon, my dear lady," I would bellow. "Let me ask you – is there any snow in your yard? Any?"

"Of course not," she would reply. "It's July!"

Precisely. And therein lies the secret to the patented Murphy Snow Removal System – it is powered by the sun.

The sun works in mysterious ways. Man has never fully realized how to harness the sun's power, but I daresay I've mastered it more than most – you know, getting it to melt the snow and all.

One thing troubles me – for the life of me I can't make it take out the garbage. Sooner or later, though, I will figure it out. I hope it's soon, because it's beginning to pile up. Thank god it's frozen solid.

Rick Murphy is a three time winner of the New York Press Association Best Column award.

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Gurney's Inn