Three levels of snow shovelling

Having walked around the snow-festooned neighbourhood, I have realized there are three levels of snow shovelling on sidewalks (businesses and homes are required to keep their sidewalks clear after a snowfall and can be billed if a city crew has to do the work for them.

The levels are:

  • Snow King. These people shovel the entire width of the sidewalk and do such a thorough job that the sidewalk will actually dry out and just be a regular sidewalk surrounded by snow.
  • Snow Lord. These people will shovel most of the width of the sidewalk and only leave a few bits and pieces of snow behind, which can be relatively easily avoided.
  • Snow Peon. These underachievers will shovel to the width of the snow shovel, leaving a lot of snow on the sidewalk. The cleared parts will often have enough scraped snow that it freezes and becomes a slipping hazard. This is almost worse than not shovelling at all. Bonus falling-on-your-butt points if the sidewalk is on a hill and can have freezing runoff.

Not included:

  • Snow Wretches. They don’t shovel the sidewalk at all. Depending on conditions, this can be good or bad. If the snow is not overly crunchy, it can become packed, but still provide enough grip that it isn’t a slipping hazard. If the snow is crunchy, it can become craggy, slick and horrible to walk on.

Fortunately, most people around here are snow kings.

And here’s a photo I took of my foot in crunchy snow:

Leave a Comment