Archive for February, 2013

My Faux Facebook Birthday Blizzard

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

The poor tree didn't stand a chance.

Thanks everyone, for your heart warming birthday wishes! Hell, if one is going to celebrate a ‘faux Facebook birthday,’ it seems oddly fitting for it to be accompanied by a not-so-faux nor’easter… or, yeah, in other words; a friggin’ blizzard!

I’m amazed, but not so surprised that with all this snow, we still have power. Not so surprised, because the guy who lives next door works for the town, and for some odd reason, our neck of the power grid always seems to stay juiced in the midst of the most inclement weather. Hmmm. I wonder why?

(Side note to self; If ever thinking of purchasing or renting a home, enquire about the profession of all nearby neighbors. It is wise to live next door to a guy or gal who has the power to keep his/her home with power when everyone else has none. I think Ghandi said that … nah, probably not.)

Of course, after surviving many years of hurricanes in Florida, I never take any storm for granted. I always properly prepare for the worse case scenario. The worse case scenario for a blizzard here in NY is we lose power, and can’t keep the house (or our butts) warm. Thus, my main preparatory goal was to gather as much wood as possible – to burn in the fireplace.

There’s an ample stockpile of logs here in the yard of my 85 year old uncles’ house, but those logs have been there for years. With all the freezing temperatures we’ve had lately, most of those logs are frozen solid together, or rotted and rendered unusable. I went out and gathered what I could; a log harvest of about five good ones. I knew the logs would need time to dry, so I brought them inside, and hoped for the best.

I went to work later that afternoon, for my part-time evening shift as a deli clerk at a local supermarket. The pay sucks, but even as a part-timer, I get union membership and some form of health benefits, which is a helluva lot better than NO form of health benefits. So, I graciously put-up with the arrogant and not-so-gracious whims of the rich and mighty of Bedford Hills, NY – all for the comfort of knowing that should my body develop some rare form of shoulder-blade cancer, I will be covered by some meager form of a union negotiated health-care plan. Yeah. Wish me luck on that one!

Before I stray off the issue of the not-so-gracious rich and mighty of Bedford Hills, let me state that it is NOT polite, nor is it appropriate for anyone to ever request that their pound of salami be sliced ‘very, very, very thin!’ Seriously! Those two extra ‘very’s are ‘very’ unnecessary. We get it when you say you want it ‘very thin.’ OK? The next time some miserable rich A-hole requests that I slice their salami ‘very, very, very thin,’ I’m going to humorously present him or her with an empty sheet of deli paper, and say, “So, you’re telling me you want invisible salami?” Seriously! ‘Very thin’ suffices. We get it. All us lowly deli clerks get it! Even those of us who don’t have legal working papers. We get it, with just one ‘very.’ Using three ‘very’s is superfluous and insulting, especially to those of us who know the meaning of the word superfluous, and how to spell it. OK? So, stick to just one ‘very.’ OK?

And another thing, (while I’m ranting)! Don’t ever tell a deli clerk that your cold cuts need to be sliced ‘very, very, very thin,’ because your kid won’t eat it otherwise. That’s just wrong. There are millions of hungry children in this world, who would thank God for a slice of Boar’s Head Oven Gold turkey, regardless of how thickly or thinly it’s sliced. You should be raising your child to be thankful, not spoiled and unappreciative. I mean, really! You are doing your child no service by pandering to such nonsense. The next time your kid complains about a cold cut being too thick, you should simply say, “Oh, ok. I guess you’re not that hungry. Let’s bring this pound of Boar’s Head ham to the local food bank, to feed some other child who will actually appreciate it.”

OK, now that I’ve gotten those little issues off my chest, let’s move forward.

Pandemonium ensued at the grocery store, as would be expected on the day before the strike of a major blizzard. Customers were lined-up by the dozens to buy pounds of perishable lunch meats, the logic of which escapes me. Cold cuts need to be kept cold, otherwise they will spoil. So if you lose power, and can’t cook for a day or two, you will also lose refrigeration. Wouldn’t it make more sense to stock-up on cans of tuna and chicken, etc., than to buy tons of perishable lunch meats? Just saying…

As I was slicing very, very, very thin lunch meats for my very, very, very panicked customers, I made a mental assessment of my own home survival situation. I came to the conclusion that since my Uncle Ed and I had a freezer and refrigerator full of enough food to last us weeks, not to mention the formidable cache of canned goods (purchased prior to the end of the Mayan calendar), which could feasibly keep us nutritionally sustained for at least 3 months, I didn’t need to worry about bringing home more food. I needed to bring home wood.

Five semi-frozen logs from the yard does not make for a sustaining warm abode, should we lose power. I worked an extra half hour, till 10:30 pm, to help get the deli department closed and cleaned for the morning crew. Then, I filled a shopping cart with two large burnable bags of hardwood.

Upon arriving home, I cleverly left one of the bags in the trunk of the car, because I had every expectation that my dear old Uncle Ed would give me a hard-time for spending money on wood, when we have so much here in the yard.

Sure enough, when he saw me lugging the first batch into the house, his eyes went wide and wild, and he exclaimed, “You bought wood?!!”

I answered him matter-of-factly, and said, “Yes, Uncle Ed! I bought wood! I took as much as I could from the yard today, but the rest of it is frozen solid. In case you didn’t know, we’re about to have a blizzard. We might lose power. And there is NO way you and I are going to be sitting here in an icy cold house without some firewood to burn! OK?”

Uncle Ed locked his eyes into mine in a steely glare, and then he smiled and said, “OK. You’re right. That was smart of you to do that.”

Fortunately, we never lost power (as I mentioned earlier). But we have been enjoying the warm glow of the fireplace ever since.

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