Winter’s still on, so I’m sharing another snow story. Please bear with me (or invite me to Florida – either way).
So, what would you do if you were fed up with complaints about snowplows versus driveways? For those of you who don’t live northward enough to understand, here’s how it works in Canadian cities. A winter storm dumps a whole lot of snow on us. We shovel out our driveways. And then, because we pay our taxes, a snowplow drives around and clears our roads for us for free.
The problem? Well, the snow pushed by the plow has to go somewhere, so you often end up with a driveway-ful. Your cars get blocked in all over again. You’re forced to go outside for what some folks are dubbing the dreaded “second shovel.” And because by this point you’re exhausted, your temper is short… and you’re more likely to grumble about those annoying (did I mention free?) snowplows that have caused you a whole lot of aggro.
If your compulsion to complain happens to take you to the City of Regina’s Facebook page for a venting, be warned. There’s a guy called Neil McDonald who also lives in Regina, Saskatchewan, and he has very little patience for such bellyaching.
In fact, just last week, Neil tracked down one of the complainants – “Internet-creeped their address [and] drove halfway across town,” as he phrases it – and actually cleared the snow away from their car for them. He wrote that he did it “to prove that it wasn’t anything more than a minor inconvenience.” Of course, once he reported all this in a follow-up comment on Facebook, the whole thing quickly and predictably went viral.
You could call Neil a good Samaritan – just not to his face. In an interview for CBC, he insists that although people are calling him a “yeti messiah” and “Batman with a shovel,” he’s not like that at all. He’s flattered, but says he’s no “winter-loving, goodwill ambassador.” He’s just tired of all the griping about snowplows. Neil hates everything about winter, but believes we should be helping each other get through it, not fixating on minor inconveniences like a snowed-in car.
Just keep in mind it’s not about liking winter, ever. Neil is a champion on that point. “By me suggesting online that people just get out there and dig each other out after a snowfall, the last thing that I wanted to suggest is that we enjoy it,” he says. “Winter sucks without a doubt, but just do it.”
Neil, you have nothing to worry about from me. I will never stop despising winter, no matter how many wintry good deeds are done.
But I will always love those wintry good deeds.