DEGREES OF KNOWLEDGE

We are up to our ears in snow.  This is not a new experience, but it is disconcerting because my snowblower broke down.  I took it into town once to be repaired, a round trip of just under 50 kilometres, but after working for twenty minutes, it broke down again.  Then my truck broke down, and I resorted to a snow scoop to make a dent in the fifty acres of snow – okay, I exaggerate – but it did feel like forty acres.

I called Daniel.  Daniel is a neighbour – he lives only a few klicks away.  He has a blade on his truck, which makes it equal to large-scale snow removal.  He arrived promptly.  Dan said, Do you mind if I look at your blower?  I didn’t mind.  Within thirty seconds he had it running.

He gave it a test run, monitoring its performance.  He stopped the engine.  Do you mind, he said, if I check it over?  I didn’t mind.  Over the course of nearly an hour he tinkered with this and he tinkered with that.  He has a snowblower of his own, twenty years old, he said, and it’s like new.  Mine is ten years old, a museum piece.  He gave me tips on this and tips on that.  He just had to pull off a cover and poke his nose into the gears.  He leaned the machine this way and that.  He flopped on the snow like a cat rolling on a pile carpet and eyeballed an arcane location.  I believe I heard him purr.  Finally, reluctantly, he released the blower to me.

Let me give you something for your trouble, I said.  Nope, he said.  You can do something for me sometime.

Sure.  Perhaps I could pen a poem.  Dedicate a novella to him.  Or coin a phrase.

He sure showed his old English teacher a thing or two.   What’ll the next snowfall bring?

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About EJ Lavoie

Writer and independent publisher with website www.WhiskyJackPublishing.ca
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