by Joe Buonfiglio

This week’s Potpourri of the Damned post is not going to be my typical modus operandi of meandering insanity that makes the Bible seem as brief as a kid’s “My First Pop-Up Book” by comparison.  Nope, this is short, sweet and down to business.


I killed my back shoveling fucking snow … AGAIN!  That’s why.  So here’s a quick snow-removal observation I gleaned by watching my neighbors today, and then on to my little lyrical bit of revelation courtesy of Old Man Winter.

Yes, my back gave way with that last shovelful of highly compact snow forcing my family to carry me up our ridiculously steep Streets of San Francisco-esque driveway, load me up with painkillers and whiskey, and then — to the tune of my incessant screams of language so foul that they would have a sailor run into a confessional begging for forgiveness — tuck me into bed praying I finally pass out.  But just before this agony-ridden episode, I was able to observe my neighbors and deduce that there are eight distinct types of snow “shovelers” in the world … or at least on my block.

First, there is “The Loner.”  For whatever reason, this guy — and it is almost ALWAYS a guy — is out there alone with his shovel plugging away.  He’ll usually step outside, assess the situation, and then just start attacking that driveway one scoop at a time until he is done (usually sometime after dark).  After a couple of hours, his solitary approach to this arduous and repetitively monotonous task takes on an almost spiritual quality.

What some guys will do for a little “me time” is ridiculous, but I guess you can only spend so many hours locked in the bathroom before your significant other calls 911.

Then there’s “Beer Hit Guy.”  He’s pretty much the same as “The Loner,” only he alternates shoveling with putting back some Budweiser.  Shovel-shovel-shovel.  Chug-chug-chug.  Shovel-shovel.  Chug-chug.  Shovel-chug-shovel-chug-shovel-chug…  Unlike “The Loner,” it is light out when “Beer Hit Guy” finishes … but it’s the next day.

Next come the “Family Time People.”  These “Whistle While You Work” assholes try to turn shoveling their driveway into some kind of family-fun event.  Usually these are the same type of dipshits who don uniformly colored clothes when they go to an amusement park.  What the fuck are they doing?  Do they really believe shoveling their fucking driveway is akin to a reunion party or company picnic?  Can’t God just have enough mercy to strike down these happy-go-lucky twats and put them out of your misery?  You just pray that when they’re almost finished at the end of their driveway, a city plow spins out of control on the ice and takes them all out in one fell swoop … or one fell scoop, as the case may be.

Let’s not forget “Something to Prove Gal.”  This rapid-fire shovel-dominatrix needs to clearly and unquestionably demonstrate to her family (and nosey neighbors) that all those thousands of dollars she spends every year on CrossFit training has a big payday.  As if possessed by a demon or under the influence of methamphetamine, she furiously shovels away in her own little world.  Her family eventually says “Fuck this!” as they throw their shovels to the ground and storm off.  Ignorant of the departure of her loved ones due to her own self-absorption, she churns away in the snow muttering something about how great this is for her “core.”  They abandon her to winter’s chill, choosing instead to turn to hot chocolate and TV by the fireside inside their nice, warm house.  And that’s probably a good thing; all of those nonstop squats she’s been doing during conditioning has left her a bit of a “queef machine” that tends to come out during certain strenuous activities … such as shoveling snow.

Then there’s “Heart Attack Guy.”  With a cigarette dangling from his mouth, this poor bastard shovels about ten or fifteen scoops of snow before falling dead face-down in the mini-snowbank of his own recent creation.

No one notices his blue-skinned body until spring … except for the rats … the cold rats … the winter-starved, hungry rats … the hungry, hungry rats.

Next there are the “Missing in Action” people.  The MIAs don’t even come out of their house, let alone shovel their driveway.  Usually recent transplants with car license plates from places such as California and Florida, these folks are perfectly cool with taking a “snow day” off to spark up a few blunts and try a new hash-brownie recipe.

Sounds good, but shouldn’t you do blow … in the snow … Joe?

Then there is the “Snow Fashionista.”  He or she comes out with perfect hair and the latest bright-red winterwear.  This type will walk to the end of the driveway, put their hands on their hips and slowly turn — making sure everyone on the street sees them — looking as if they’re assessing the road situation with intelligence and ambitious intent.  Then once they’re sure everyone has had a chance to see how good they look, they return to their house, throw some ice-melt from a prepackaged spreader-container in front of their garage, and go back inside never to be seen again … or until the spring designs are available at their favorite boutique.

Finally, there is “Overkill Equipment Man.”  OEM has the latest, greatest and most expensive home snow-removal equipment the hardware-warehouse store can offer.  If you thought the “Snow Fashionista” was about screaming “Look at me,” the OEM takes that to the next level.  However, this is a completely different breed of accessorizing.  And even though the county has asked if it can borrow HIS top-of-the-line snowblower, he still doesn’t realize how over-the-top he is.

Yes, his driveway is only twenty feet long.

Yes, it is the shortest driveway in the whole neighborhood.

Yes, he is a douchebag … but he’s a douchebag who can post wintertime selfies on a rider-snowblower.  So, he’s a happy douchebag.

Don’t look so smug.  I can’t say that.  Can you?

So, there you have it.  As the booze and Acetaminophen with Codeine slowly kicks in to help me get through my shoveling-induced malady of the back like Novocain for a bum tooth, let me leave you with this, my …


As the midnight blizzard coats my driveway below;

          I know tomorrow brings the shoveling of snow.

Tree limbs break from the weight of heavy white;

          So shall my back shoveling the snowflakes’ delight.

If sleet freezes atop the snow, it’ll get quite slick;

           Shoveling snow?  I’d rather suck a penguin’s dick!

Whatever happened to the good old days when you could throw a six-pack at the city plow guys and they’d make a quick sweep of your driveway for you?  Oh well.

Now get the fuck out of my bedroom.  The Jameson and Codeine are kicking in big time and the hallucinations have begun.  You’re starting to look like a talking Rankin-Bass snowman melting away due to excessively engaging in the ribald delights of fart-lighting and I, my frosty cartoon friend, am most certainly NOT shoveling that up.


© 2015 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

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