Wednesday, March 05, 2008

My Abusive Mother, Nature

We’ve had a metric assload of snow dumped on my little corner of New England these past few weeks, so I decided to make the most of it by writing a little piece questioning how town ordinances requiring people to shovel their sidewalks avoid running afoul of the anti-slavery amendment to the Constitution.

I turned in the story on Monday, after yet another weekend snowstorm. “Oooh, how timely!” I thought.

And the story came out in print this morning, after a night of high temperatures and driving rain has made pretty much all of the snow disappear. Figures. The two days I absolutely HAD to go into the office for an important phone interview, we had mega snowstorms both times. But the one day I'd like there to be snow so my story makes sense? Behold the grandeur of early spring.

Environmentalists wouldn't be so keen on saving Mother Nature if they knew she was a graduate of the Joan Crawford school of child-rearing.


Anonymous NoStar said...

Here's your headline:
Muck-Raking Journalist Balks At Shoveling Snow.

9:11 AM  
Blogger GinSlinger said...

Jennifer, it's not slavery, it's corvee. Which is different, because it is an obligation of service, but without ownership.

You're right about Mother Nature, she's a bitch, and someday I'll work up the courage to kill her in her sleep.

6:21 AM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

because it is an obligation of service, but without ownership

Thanks for the reference, gin, but your link is bad. They still need to provide some mechanism to buy your way out. Perhaps ::gasp:: taxes? How much does it cost to pay a guy, say, $10/hr to run down the sidewalk with a snow blower? If you figure it's 10ft/min for talking purposes, a $10/hr guy will cost $18, plus $4/hr for the blower, gives $22/hr. That gives a net of $22/60=$0.37/min. At the previous 10ft/min, an average frontage of, say, 60ft, results in $22.20 per event. Using an average of 4 events per month for the four months of snow type weather, that's 16*$22.20=$133.20/season. That should be a conservative rate if the city hired them to do all the sidewalks. It would be much more if the individuals hired them themselves.

7:26 AM  

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