Friday, February 12, 2010

In Which There Is A Vendetta

Okay, so it snowed another 22 inches on Wednesday. That''s a lot of effing snow. (My friend Eleanore recommends that I start measuring in fuck-tons rather than shit-tons. I am taking this under advisement.)

Mr. Marzipan was out shoveling thrice on Wednesday because the snow was flinging itself angrily from the sky with no clear intention of ever stopping. He wanted to stay on top of it. So he cleared our steps and sidewalks and, because the road hadn't been plowed, shoveled our cars out and the section of road in front of our house. He piled up the snow on the little spit of sidewalk where the mailbox is. Most of our neighbors did the same, so while the road wasn't clear, it was reasonably passable for those with larger vehicles.

My dad has a very large, heavy, snow-capable SUV. He loaned it to me yesterday so I could get the kids out of the house and let Mr. Marzipan get some work done since his office was closed. My mother and I were out shopping and so my dad had a coworker give him a ride home. The coworker agreed to swing by to pick Mr. Marzipan up at the bottom of our street and bring him to my parents' house for dinner.

When Mr. Marzipan left the house, he noticed that the neighbors across the street had shoveled their cars out as well. But instead of piling the snow out of the way, they dumped it in the middle of the street, blocking our cars in with about a four-foot wall of snow. They did this last time there was a huge snowfall. Mr. Marzipan spoke sharply to them at the time and they shrugged and said they didn't feel like hauling the snow anywhere else. Despite the fact that this is a clear case for justifiable homicide, we did not kill them at the time.

So after dinner at my parents' house, my dad drove us home. He got about halfway down our street when we could go no further because of a stuck car in front of us. My dad and Mr. Marzipan got out to help him. "I was doing all right," he said, "until I hit this WALL OF SNOW." He gestured at the glacier in front of our house.

My dad was stunned. He turned to Mr. Marzipan. "When you said they had shoveled snow in front of your cars, I didn't quite realize what you meant."

Mr. Marzipan looked grim.

I hustled the kids inside and got them ready for bed. Outside, Mr. Marzipan and my father had given up trying to shovel. My dad turned his SUV around and - because he is that kind of guy - found a suitable tow-line in his trunk. He hitched it to the guy's sedan and hauled him up our street and onto the main road. He returned to help Mr. Marzipan deal with the snow.

They started shoveling the snow back around the neighbor's cars. After a time, the neighbor noticed this and came out yelling. His wife shrieked from the steps that she was calling the police. Mr. Marzipan offered her his cell phone.

"The plow is coming!" our neighbor insisted. "Who cares if it's in the street?!"

Mr. Marzipan said that he cared considerably, as the county informed him that the plow might not be by until Saturday and he would like to go to work in the morning.

"Where were you this morning when we were all out shoveling?" his wife demanded. "Why didn't you help?"

"Because I did it yesterday," Mr. Marzipan explained with thinning patience. "That is why I am pissed."

"You should have knocked on our door," she insisted.

"Last time I did that, your husband said he didn't feel like moving it. So now I'm moving it. And I'm going to pick where it goes." He and my dad started shoveling again, to the background of a volley of curses from the neighbor and his wife.

The neighbor, underestimating how pissed Mr. Marzipan and Dad of Marzipan were, got into his car to back it up, theorizing that no one would dare shovel snow directly on his car. He miscalculated.

By sheer accident, my dad dumped a shovelful of snow on the car just as the neighbor got out. It covered him and then he pretty much lost it. He threw snow at my dad who - being about 7 inches taller than the neighbor - had a distinct advantage. Many shovelsful of snow were exchanged, with my dad being the clear victor. Another guy came out in a show of support for the snow-dumping neighbor. Ungentlemanly sentiments were exchanged.

Other neighbors, drawn by the shouting, emerged to see what was going on. Mr. Marzipan, realizing that this was going nowhere fast, pretty much invited Jerk Neighbor to either help with the shoveling or take his punishment like a man. After much grumbling, he decided to view Mr. Marzipan's offer as being somehow humbling to Mr. Marzipan and, with great condescension, agreed to help shovel. Other neighbors helped as well. The father of the family next door informed Mr. Marzipan and my dad that he was glad somebody finally had the balls to hand the guy's ass to him. (Well, he didn't say it quite like that because he is a very kind-spoken Pakistani gentlemen, but that was the gist of it.)

My dad then towed Mr. Marzipan's car around the corner in case of late-night mischief.

This morning, several neighbors came over to shake Mr. Marzipan's hand. "I called the county about the plow," one of them said. "They told me they wouldn't come back until people quit shoveling snow in the road."