- The roads get covered with gooey gunk which rivals the grease trap in the kitchen of the Ol' Home Fill 'Er Up And Keep On A-Truckin' Cafe.**
- The sidewalks become a disgusting mess of frozen puddles and salt deposits with the sole purpose of ruining my favorite "It's Winter But I Don't Have To Admit It Yet" boots.
- The driveway becomes stuck in an infinite loop of Being Shoveled and then Being Filled With Snow From The Rotten NeighborSpawn Who Insist That My Driveway Is Better For Sledding Than Their Own, with only sporadic interruptions for when Lady Nature decides that my yard is a disgraceful mess and needs to be whitewashed.
So, yeah. Winter. Woot.
I'm fairly lucky. While my driveway is a source of difficulty, at least it isn't long. And if it snows overnight while the cars are in the yard, the shovelling isn't awful. Just pull the cars into the road and *kapow.* Instant clean.
And it's not like this season lasts forever, either. Yes, it starts getting cold in September. Yes, it's still not tee-shirt weather in April. But at least the snow is only really awful from January until the end of March. And the days don't stay short forever. In fact, just this morning I realized that there was light for my Getting Ready For Work ritual. Which is nice.
However, I do have a bit of an issue with one thing:
Walking around My Friendly Home State can be a mess in the wintertime. It never used to be such an issue - Prior to the move, I had to walk around a small parking lot at work. I could dictate how far I wanted to walk on my Shopping Endeavors, and walking up my driveway was a slice of schnitzel. There's hardly any drive to walk up. No complaints there.
But now, I've got a bit of a hike.
When we evacuated our prior Working Establishment in favor of new digs, we gave up our Cooshy Parking Lot of Awesomeness in favor of a parking garage.
Which isn't awful, I admit, when it snows and I don't have to shovel my car.
However, this parking lot is (depending on which side of the building I exit), just under a quarter of a mile away. Which means that I have some hiking to do.
That becomes difficult in the wintertime because:
- I do not live in a flat state, where you can see from one side to the other uninterrupted. I have mountains all over the place Being In The Way. To that end I do not just travel in the X and Y, but also in the Z.
- I work in a lovely older neighborhood whose establishment thought that bricks made a fantastic paving medium for sidewalks. Not the rough kind of brick, either... No, walking on these puppies is an adventure not unlike fresh fuzzy socks on a clean hardwood floor. Careful footsteps can make your walk a little safer, but you never know when the dog is going to come barreling around the corner and send you skittering across the living room on your rumpus.
- I am not old and decrepit, so I enjoy pretty shoes. That means I don't always choose the sneakers or clonky winter boots that would keep me safe... Sometimes I pick the pretty heels that make me feel like (brace yourself...) a female.
Now, that's not to say that residents of my fair Work City don't understand my plight. Last evening, as I was slip-sliding down the sidewalk on my Boots of Sunneriffic Might, two gentlemen passed me and regaled me with a little ditty I hear often on my adventures: "Be careful there! Whoops! Are you alright?"
I forged onward. I have my own little arsenault of tricks that help me feel more in control of my appendages:
- Stick arms out as if to create an A-Frame around one's trunk. This increases wind resistance in case a skid occurs. In addition, it airs out ghastly underarm odors that can occur when Heavy Winter Jackets are installed.
- Bend knees to increase proximity from posterior to sidewalk. This leaves a shorter distance to landing in case of an unfortunate fall, thus protecting That Which The Opposite Sex Ogles.
- Don't pick up one's feet. Just slide them along the sidewalk, lessening propulsion to impulse speed. This takes forces (other than gravity) out of the equation for toppling to the ground, so it's more of a fall and less of a forceful hurling of one's self to the pavement.
By and large, these rules keep me from Eating Dirt during my trudge from the office to my car.
However, it must have become apparent that I wasn't employing teleportation, and was indeed using My Own Two Feet to zoom from my workplace to the garage, and couldn't possibly be making safe choices unsupervised.
And so my employer created Safety Instructions just for travelers like myself.
These commandments have been issued in what I'm sure was constructed to be a whimsical fashion - Trying to catch the attention of the masses and impart their Safety Knowledge without bludgeoning the workers over the head with proper walking practices. Their thoughts aren't unlike my own - arms out, shuffle your feet, bend your knees... However, they took it one step further. For your enjoyment:
|Don't Endanger Your Posterior, ReaderFriends. Make Good Choices Instead.|
** Thank you, C.W. McCall, for that timeless piece of classic music!