My dog Sydney doesn’t enjoy walking herself and on weekends I really have no choice but to take her around the neighbourhood until she gets tired enough to let us have peace. In the summer, this is a pleasure because the weather is nice, people are out and the walking is always safe. But in the last while, those same people who I said hello to in the sunshine and who admired the little white fur ball on the end of the leash have had their common sense frozen by the outdoors. They are forgetting that while they are inside getting fat and watching the idiot box, others of us enjoy being out and, unbelievably, like the feel of a chilly winter. But we don’t like getting our tailbones smashed on their ice.
So without further ado, I’m telling them to get off their lazy warm asses, go to the store and buy a bag of road salt (of the organic variety if they’re worried about the environment), and sprinkle it generously across the sidewalk. I don’t even care if they don’t want to salt their own bleeping driveway.
Adding to my aggravation is the fact that I have a knee injury right now and can’t bend my right leg much. If I begin to slip, this leg will offer me scant little support and any tumble I take, even a small slip like the other day, invariably aggravates my aching knee further and makes me even more pissed off that people can’t think a little less of themselves a little more often.
And neighbours, don’t bother trying to convince me that a little salt now will ruin your prospects for yet another previous perfectly green lawn come springtime. Frankly, even if you have scientific evidence, I don’t care. Saving my body from long-term disrepair is far more important than your grass. And it should be more important to you. Hey, I’m only 39. What if a 75-year-old lady – a neighbour of yours that you adore, perhaps – falls flat on her backside right in front of your house after losing her balance on ice she didn’t see, because it was covered by snow that you haven’t yet bothered to shovel? What if she broke her hip and couldn’t look after herself any more?
Are we supposed to stay inside all winter because you are cold, inconvenienced, lazy, busy, uncaring, irresponsible…? And what about the kids in the neighbourhood who you know perfectly well aren’t going to stay inside no matter what? I guess they’re supposed to know better than to put a foot down anywhere near your property because you are a self-absorbed wienie.
In closing, I say a heartfelt thank you to my neighbours who – like me and my wife – have shoveled earnestly, iced responsibly, and even cleared the snow and ice for the elderly near them who couldn’t make it outside. You did your bit and saved others from injury, and you braved the cold and wind to boot. (It hasn’t really been that cold or windy for very long, by the way.)
To the rest of you, I hope that when I see you in the warmer weather, you don’t feign friendliness and forget all about your neglect. But of course you will. That’s just the kind of people you are. Apparently it’s easy to be nice but a lot tougher to go out of your way to do something that really helps people.
Oh, and don’t forget, in case you didn’t already know, when you bought your house, you bought the responsibility that goes with it. In this case, it’s not the kind you and pick and choose when to deal with.