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Saturday, December 21, 2002
On Effective Procrastination

I moved into the house I now live in about seven years ago. I moved from a house with a 25 foot driveway and no sidewalks to a house with a 50 foot driveway (which, for about half of its length, has 8 foot walls over which one must throw snow) and 200 feet of sidewalks (since the house is on a corner lot). The first two winters I was here consisted of one snowstorm after another after another. I dutifully went out and shovelled. Pretty much alone, I might add. The kids were too young to help, and, while my wife helped when she could, that wasn't much. Along about the fiftieth snowstorm of the second winter I gave up and hired someone to come in with a plow.

Following those near heart attack experiences, (from both shoveling and paying the plow guy, since I am known to be somewhat parsimonious) I broke down and purchased a snow blower. In the off season, because I really am cheap. A big one, because I am (a) even more lazy than I am cheap, and (b) male. It was a very effective expenditure of funds, too, because for the next three years it caused all major storms to avoid northern Jersey altogether. I further assured the complete absence of snow by religiously paying to have the damn snow blower serviced.

Fast forward to the most recent snow storm, a week or two ago. For the first time is something like four years, we got five, maybe six inches in my area. It had stopped snowing before I went to sleep, so I could have gone out and done the driveway like my more industrious neighbors. But, being the lazy soul that I am, I try never to do today what I can put off until tomorrow. I decided that I would get up early the next morning and do the driveway. The wife would be pleasantly surprised at my industry.

Or so I thought.

I awoke early, as planned (about 5:30) , only to find an entirely snow free driveway and fully shovelled sidewalks. This was not one of those jobs where you cut an 15 inch path down the middle of the sidewalk. The whole thing was clear of snow. I concluded that since I had been such a good boy, the snow shovel fairies had come in the night and shovelled the driveway and sidewalks.

Alas, reality is a bit more prosaic. My wife informed me (somewhat archly) that she had never told the plow guy not to come back, so he had shown up done the job an hour before I got up.

You think next time I should go to sleep with a snowball under my pillow?
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