This Would Be Funnier If It Happened To You

snowlaser2

Tragedy + time = comedy

That famous adage is oh, so true.  So is this one that I just made up:

Tragedy + it happens to somebody else = comedy

That’s the basis of all those Funniest Home Video shows.  Bozo The Clown kicking some poor schmo in the gonads is the kind of material that leaves folks rolling in the aisles.  Does the guy on the receiving end think it’s funny?  Not so much, even if the foot delivering it is encased in a bright red, size 20 clown shoe.

Bad stuff is funny when it happens to somebody else.  Case in point:

Our palatial country estate has a steep driveway.  That’s a great feature because it guarantees that only the most biblical of floods will ever reach the house.

OK, I lied.  It is not great.  There is nothing great about our driveway.  That was my attempt to “look on the bright side”, something that positive-outlook doofi (plural of “doofus”) are always chirping at me to do.  In reality, in the winter, our steep driveway stinks so bad I can’t even begin to convey the foulness of the stench.

You might assume that those who live in the American Midwest, a part of the world that routinely gets snow, would invest in snow removal equipment.  Not us.  We put our trust in Al Gore and assumed that global warming would keep the driveway ice-free.   In the Super-Sucky Year Of Soul Destroying Cold and Snow (as future generations will call this winter), Al let us down.

We had a little snowstorm last weekend.  It shut down most of the town and all the surrounding roads.  “No reason for me not to run errands,” I said smugly to myself, “because my car has 4-wheel drive.”  I backed down the driveway bright and early Saturday morning.  Or where I thought the driveway was.  Turns out it’s not so easy to FIND the driveway when it has not been plowed.  I ended up buried in the snow in the middle of my yard.

It was that great packing snow that’s just perfect for making snowmen.  And making forts.  And making snowballs.  And making all 4 wheels and the entire undercarriage of my car so stuck that I would not be able to get out until Spring….of 2015.

I’ve lived in the Midwest my whole life, so I knew just what to do:

  1. Rocked between drive and reverse.  No movement.
  2. Climbed back up to the house and got a shovel, came down and dug the tires free.  One of them started spinning.
  3. Put kitty litter in front of and behind the tires.  No additional movement.
  4. Jabbed the shovel under the middle part of the car and tried to chip away at the solid wall of icy snow that was holding my car 5 feet off the ground.  Couldn’t reach the middle.
  5. Screamed and cursed with a fluency that a longshoreman would envy.  Car still did not move.
  6. Repeated steps 1 – 5.

By this point snow covered me from head to toe, outside and inside my clothing.  I stomped around the car like I was doing a ceremonial snow dance to a vengeful god.  I was so livid with anger and frustration that it is a testament to my good health that I didn’t stroke out right there.  Then the flames shooting out of my eyes melted all the snow around me and I breezed back up the driveway and got safely in the garage.

Nope.  That did not happen, because real life is not a bad sci-fi movie.

I trudged back up to the house through the mile-high drifts and tried to calm down.  I stopped swearing, resisted the urge to kick the dog and did not storm up to the bedroom and awaken my husband like a screaming banshee from hell, just so I could dump this problem on him. I spent ½ hour doing deep breathing exercises while cleaning out the Tupperware cupboard – therapy with a purpose.  When Bill at last came downstairs, I quietly told him what had occurred without screaming my oft-repeated promise to move to town and leave him to rot in this *$&^!% hole by himself.  He went to the bottom of the hill to take a look.

I figured I was just one of many other village idiots who had decided it would be a good idea to go for a drive during the Snowpocalypse, so I resigned myself to being stuck for at least a couple of days before a tow truck would get to us.

That did not happen.

A big pickup truck  came plowing through the swirling snow on the deserted road like a diesel-powered knight on a white horse.   The driver saw our car, stranded off-road with Bill taking his turn to ineffectually spin the tires, and he stopped to help.   This Angel in Camouflage dug my car out of its snow-packed grave with his own shovel and his own, bare hands.  He got down on his back in the cold fluffy and unscrewed the plastic undercarriage guard-thingy that had been pulled down and was dragging on the ground like a big snow scooper.  He then disappeared as silently as he had appeared, refusing all reward; not coffee, not money, not 15 minutes use of my body.

By now you have probably figured that the moral of this story is that you should never lose hope.  That you can count on the kindness of strangers!  That there are Good Samaritans still walking  on this earth to renew our faith in the Essential Goodness of Man!!!

Nope.  That’s not the lesson.

The bottom line is that this would have been a whole lot funnier if it had happened to you, and not me.  That sort of thing always is.

They’re calling for 5 more inches of snow tonight.

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About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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105 Responses to This Would Be Funnier If It Happened To You

  1. Elyse says:

    Peg, does the fact that I am laughing prove your theory? Yup. I think it does!

    Like

  2. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    One of your best posts, ever Peg, and one of the best I’ve ever read! This was sublimely hilarious. I agree with you about those TV shows – it’s only comedy because it isn’t happening to you, but inside you’re nervously giggling because you know it could easily be you. Your snow plow guy was definitely an angel – Refusing the gift of flesh? Wow – that’s saintly.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Aw, thanks Jean.

      “inside you’re nervously giggling” – that is so true. Usually those somebody-getting-hurt videos just make me cringe. My empathometer is too sensitive.

      Like

  3. mistyslaws says:

    I don’t know what you’re talking about. I think this was hysterical!! Oh, wait. Yeah, I get you.

    I can’t believe the stranger refused your very generous gifts! I mean, seriously, who wouldn’t take coffee? Weirdo.

    Like

  4. Al says:

    Funny stuff alright. By the way, don’t forget the meeting of the International Brotherhood of Longshoremen tonight.

    Like

  5. “not 15 minutes use of my body” That killed me! Actually the whole post had me howling because I was right there with you during the whole ordeal.

    Well, not at all, I was sitting inside a warm house sipping hot cocoa with a dollop of whipped cream and — oh, I get it! Your theory about comedy is correct! So we should be grateful all these crappy things happen to us, so we can get a good blog post out of it? lesson learned.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      No, we should be grateful when we get to sit inside a warm house sipping hot cocoa with a dollop of whipped cream (and a shot of Schnapps?) and laugh at some other doofus stuck in their driveway.

      And I know you’ve been here with your driveway.

      I got stuck at the very top on the flat part yesterday. Kept sliding since the latest snow is light and fluffy on top of the ice layer. I was screaming at the top of my lungs. The very worst is I was on my way back from church. I am going to burn in hell.

      Like

    • Karen says:

      I was wondering if that thought crossed your mind, Peg: did any of the self-talk include, “One day this is going to be a hilarious blog post”? Because it was.

      Like

      • pegoleg says:

        Nope. That did not occur to me, at least not the first time. Then LAST weekend when I again found myself stuck, I had an out-of-body experience. I was observing myself from a great height, stomping around screaming and THAT me thought it was funny. But the REAL me down in the snow was not amused.

        Like

  6. bigsheepcommunications says:

    Peg, stay in. Walmart can wait.

    Like

  7. susielindau says:

    You’re right! Hahahahahaha! I just read it to Danny and he gaffawed with me! We are both from Wisconsin and can relate. We are usually the people who jump out of cars to help.Glad your banshee raving moment is behind you.

    Like

  8. lisaspiral says:

    Oh this sort of thing HAS happened to me. I think the funny part is really “you should have known better.” Smug and humor seem to go together like coffee and donuts for breakfast. Thanks!

    Like

  9. mercyn620 says:

    Enjoyed the post immensely.
    Yup, it is time to move to town. We did. Nothing like walking around the corner to the drugstore, or even better to the pizza shop. No more milk and bread runs!

    Like

  10. Go Jules Go says:

    Where were your estate farmhands during all of this??

    Winter? OVER IT. This hits too close to home to laugh. Much, much too close. No wait. I still laughed.

    P.S. – I insisted on buying a house with a level driveway for this reason, but there’s a hill on our street leading up to our house that I’ve stalled on almost 3 times this winter because of the snow.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Oh jeez, that’s scary! I expect to tank in my driveway, but out in traffic I’d be scared that somebody would plow into me.

      Who do we talk to in order to get this winter stuff over with? Take care of that, will ya, Jules?

      Like

  11. valleygrail says:

    This post is brilliant! I could see it, feel it, and hear it… I am looking for a bar of soap right now. Perhaps some markers down the driveway so it never happens again? Thank you for such a good laugh!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Bar of soap??? Like I need any more help sliding down my driveway – what, are you trying to kill me?

      Like

      • valleygrail says:

        Your blog was so good I could hear you. And I quote, *&^%%$&!” When I spoke like that as a kid, I got the old bar of soap washing out the mouth treatment, Your blog is pure joy to read!

        Like

        • pegoleg says:

          Oh, sorry. I thought you meant like we use soap to make stuff slide more. My mom did that, too. If she could have heard me in my driveway the past 2 weekends, she would have been chasing me around the yard with the Lifebuoy, walker and all.

          Like

  12. Believe me, I’ve been there. We won’t talk about the time I turned the wheel to go right, and the car kept sliding forward on the ice, that I didn’t know was under the snow, and ended up stuck on a Stop sign because when I ran over the sign it got hooked up under the car somehow. Or the fact that I was 9 months pregnant and had a 15 month old in the car. No, we won’t talk about that as being the reason I live in Arizona. 🙂

    Like

  13. Hilarious…Snowpocalypse!!!…I’m so, so sorry but loved the ending. Very timely with it being Random Acts of Kindness week.

    Like

  14. You’re right – it is funnier when it happens to someone else THIS TIME. Right now, I’m not so much laughing at you as laughing with you, having nearly gotten stuck at the foot of the office driveway, and I don’t have 4-wheel drive. Fortunately, once I determined I could no longer go forward, I found that with some colorful language and transmission rocking, I was still able to go backwards out onto the street, where I stayed. Just another day in Western New York during this bad-ass winter. Love your post!

    Like

  15. Carrie Rubin says:

    I can’t believe tactic #5 failed. It seems so fool-proof.

    I don’t think my Prius would do too well in your driveway. I’d have to hope for my own Good Samaritan. (And how great was that guy?! Restores my faith in humanity.)

    Like

  16. TEichstedt says:

    Haha, great story! Thanks for making me laugh while nodding my head because I completely understand. 🙂

    Like

  17. Good Samaritans rock! I almost want to run away with him. (Somewhere warm preferably.)

    Like

  18. I really do think it is funnier because it happened to you. Only you could keep track of all the things that “did not happen”. I’m glad you found your “knight” or should I say he found you?

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      No, no, I would have found it MUCH funnier if it had happened to you. That way I could still find the humor, write about it, but not have to actually LIVE it. That sounds a lot better to me.

      Like

  19. James Thorne says:

    Great post! I spent six hours trying to dig out a woman my friend knows, last week sunday starting from 11:30 PM, it did not end well. We were on someone’s private property and a telephone pole got involved. Eventually so did AAA and the police….. Why she didn’t call AAA to begin with is a question I put right up there with “what happens when a unstoppable force meets an immovable object.”

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Yeah, about that. We have AAA also, and I was going to call them, but I figured the member tow truck wouldn’t show up for days. Thank goodness my hero showed up first.

      Good for you for being a good neighbor – you’re storing up jewels for your heavenly crown, as my Mom likes to say.

      Like

  20. smurfymansam says:

    I am new to the whole blogosphere, but your blog is very funny and naturally charming. Brilliant stuff 🙂

    Like

  21. dorannrule says:

    I am laughing since it happened to you and your description of a snow block and sheer frustration is hilarious! On the other hand I need to back up a little because we are expecting 6 to 12 inches of snow here in Virginia this week. Then who will have the last laugh?

    Like

  22. I was sure you lived on the prairies of the midwest and not on one of the hills. Like several other commenters, I’m reluctant to laugh too heartily, as the weather-bimbos are forecasting 8 more inches for this area the day after tomorrow. Karma’s a bee-otch and old man winter aint to be trifled with.

    Like

  23. He didn’t want 15 minutes use of your body? What’s up with that?!

    Like

  24. momshieb says:

    Sending sympathy from a snowbank in Central Mass.
    This sucks.

    Like

  25. Laura says:

    I know just how you feel. It rained here one day last week and I had to turn on my windshield wipers for the drive home.

    Like

  26. List of X says:

    Peg, if you move into town, you may get all different kinds of fun when you only get street parking and have to shovel your own spot with no guarantee that it won’t be taken when you get back.  So for now, you should laugh about those silly people playing musical chairs with parking spots in the snow.

    Like

  27. pattisj says:

    The Knight in shining camo has come! What a blessing. It does my heart good to know there are still some out there. Glad you didn’t blow a gasket or anything of the sort. 🙂

    Like

  28. Sandy Sue says:

    I had the same driveway when I lived in Minnesota. Ours was tree-lined and dropped on one side into a shallow ravine. You can imagine the two places I ended up most winters.
    That Good Samaritan thing has also happened to me several times. I think snow plow drivers are required to take that class before they’re licensed.

    Like

  29. I’m not laughing, but it’s only because we’re supposed to get double-digit inches of snow tomorrow night, and I don’t want to jinx myself. That could very much be my future.

    Like

  30. PinotNinja says:

    A camo-clad angel?! Who knew! He sounds kind of hot. Maybe you want to track him down and see if he’ll offer you 15 minutes use of his body? It would be the neighborly thing to do, after all.

    And I’m sure he won’t get suspicious at all if you strand your car in your yard every day until the snow melts. Nope. Not at all.

    Like

  31. A gem, Pegomysista! I laughed WITH you. And you offered yourself in reward to your snow angel…loved how you tucked that in so subtly.
    It may be time for that in-town home…but until then, buy a walk-behind snow blower you can run (I’m thinking of this). Or hire someone with a blade. Get a ton of salt and use it liberally.
    I’m hearing 40 degrees next week. Then we’ll enjoy the great meltdown of our snow masses and the resulting flooding. Better check my insurance…
    There’s your next blog 🙂 You’re welcome.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I don’t even want to THINK about that scenario – thanks for raising the specter of spring floods. I have GOT to do something about that situation as well. Calgon, take me away!

      Like

  32. The deep breathing, not kicking the dog and the 15 minutes use of your body…did me in, Peg. Man did I need this laugh! I’ve been kinda down lately (isn’t everyone during this ‘Super-Sucky Year Of Soul Destroying Cold’?). Gracias!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I’m so sorry you’ve been down. There really is something to the endless winter’s effect on our psyches, isn’t there? Hope you can indulge in some deep breathing, dog appreciation and 15 minutes use of your body in a way that lifts your spirits, whatever that may be.

      Like

  33. amelie88 says:

    I can so relate to this because we have had snow on the ground pretty consistently throughout January. It all melted the weekend of the Superbowl when it got unseasonably warm only to snow just hours after the game ended (which I thought was hilarious because it stranded all of the out of towners who came in for the game who tried to head home the day after. Serves you right for thinking you’d see the Superbowl in the middle of February in NYC unscathed).

    This morning I woke up to go to work and for the life of me could not get the car up our sloped driveway (which looks so inoffensive in summer but turns into your worst enemy as soon as the first snow falls) because of the ice and snow. The wheels did that super cool spinning thing in place and the car just sat like a lame duck. I had to go wake up my father and insist he help me because I had no idea where the salt and sand were. He sanded it and was able to get the car up. Oh and we are due for 6 more inches on Thursday. We finally invested in a contractor company that does snow removal because like hell am I shoveling the driveway for the 10th time this winter.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Oh no! We can’t seem to find anybody who’s willing to plow. Mainly because we live in the middle of nowhere.

      I volunteer at a homeless shelter and last week, a storm had started late afternoon so I stayed in town ahead of my 7 pm shift. When I got there they told me to go home before it got worse. The only reason I did is because one of the paid workers was staying the night. She was stranded because she couldn’t get to her house. She couldn’t get anybody to plow her driveway, which was even longer than ours, and even farther out in the boonies!

      Like

      • amelie88 says:

        Oh my god that’s awful for your coworker! I did leave early a few weeks ago when we had a snowstorm mostly because Metro-North (commuter train I take to get into NYC where I work) kept going on about limited train service in the evening so I bolted when I had the chance. At least it doesn’t get Atlanta bad where everybody panics with less than an inch of snow.

        Like

  34. Almost Iowa says:

    Geez Peg. Thanks for wishing it would happen to me. Gosh, we don’t even know each other and you are wishing bad things on me. 🙂

    Like

  35. Almost Iowa says:

    Oh, by the way, even though you wished bad things on me.. I still enjoyed your essay. 🙂

    Like

  36. I like you so I felt your pain, I was with you in your fury, I stomped around your four wheel drive like a insane alien with laser eyes right there with you, I swore like a sailor (even though I am pure as the driven snow) right along with you.

    I like you, I would never laugh.

    Then, like the demented, evil and rude human I am …. I burst out into laughter. This was a fabulous story. Sorry, but it was.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I’ve had way too many chances to do the Snowy Stomp Of Fury this winter. Time for my Springtime Nymph Gavotte.

      I appreciate your laughter….I think. You’re laughing with me, not at me, right Valentine? Right?

      Like

  37. Karen says:

    Clearly you do not drive a Subaru. They’re so sensitive that #5 would certainly have done the trick.

    (Sorry to be late to the party. I made a mental note to come back to read this, and then I forgot. I’m of an age, you know.)

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I have a Toyota Rav4 that I have been very happy with….except this year. I went out at lunch and was sliding into the corners. It has been snowing all day here and I’m dreading trying to get up my driveway tonight. Maybe I had better just stay at the office. grumble, grumble

      Like

  38. Don Royster says:

    I have to tell you that I can honestly say what I say when a hurricane hits New Jersey. I’m sorry it happened to you but I’m glad it didn’t happened to me. I must say I am impressed that you got schmo and gonads in the same sentence. That is some impressive writing.

    Like

  39. Pleun says:

    You are so right, it is absolutely funnier when it happens to you. I don’t have to worry about snow at the moment, but I’m sure I’ll have it coming some day (hopefully not soon!).

    Like

  40. Dana says:

    This. Was. GOLD!!! I wholeheartedly endorse your theory of comedy, Peg. I am rolling in the aisles over your snowy misfortunes! (And I will readily admit to loving America’s Funniest Home Videos, too. I use them like therapy whenever I’m getting too serious, which is ALWAYS.)

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I tore another piece of plastic off the bottom of my car coming down my driveway yesterday, now that all the snow hillocks have frozen solid. Kept reminding myself to “find the funny, find the funny.’ Wasn’t working for me, for some reason.

      Like

  41. Pingback: Is It My Bad If I Feel Bad When My Bad Isn’t Very Bad? | Peg-o-Leg's Ramblings

  42. good read. keep going

    Like

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