“Shovel Man And Sled Boy” – Flash Fiction From The Daddy Dispatch

In Uncategorized on January 13, 2011 at 2:01 pm

As the snow continues to pile up, it is another tough year for shovelers and snow-blowers alike.  Motorola wielding motorists are forced to slow their SUVs down to the speed limit to avoid the accidents, mailmen forget all about dogs, and children are made to walk in the streets due to unshoveled sidewalks.

Only one man has the audacity to remove the offending drifts and deposit the snow where it belongs, piled against the doors and vehicles of the offending property.   Along with his quart-sized sidekick, Sled Boy, they patrol the streets of north Moorhead, clearing away the injustice of inaction.

Where did Shovel Man come from?  His origins are not shrouded in mystery, they are a matter of public record and common sense.  For too long has the city shifted the burden of reporting and enforcing snow shoveling ordinances onto the lower middle and working classes, for too long have three car garages proliferated as sidewalk-less cul-de-sacs spread further and further from elementary schools and grocery stores.

One night, our hero had enough.  Vigilantism was born of frustration as he was trying to pull his three year old son to the nearest snow mountain for an hour of pretending to walk on the moon and sledding.  Their progress came to an abrupt halt as the sidewalk first narrowed, then became an impenetrable wall of inconsideration.

“Groove Your Body,” the billboards exhort.  “Get more exercise,” the doctors advise, “Use less oil,” suggest the guardsmen on their third tour in Afghanistan.  And yet the roads are plowed while the sidewalks devolve into an impassable potemkin village of propriety.  Considerate homeowners clear their walk only to have it blocked up at the corner by the lout who is unwilling to clear the crucial area where the sidewalk meets the gutter.

24 hours after each snowfall, Shovel Man and Sled Boy patrol the neighborhood.  When an offending property is identified, they carve their symbol into the snow as a warning to the occupants that justice will be served.  The symbol is well known and need not be reproduced here as all who need fear retribution from Shovel Man and Sled Boy are quite familiar with the consequences.  When you wake up and find you are unable to leave your house or enter your car, please think not of the inconvenience and extralegal comeuppance you have received, but of the silent and long suffering masses who have finally found a voice, beating swords into shovels on the way to plowshares.

*simulposted to FamilyAndLiving*

  1. This is sad, true, and your article is a hilarious way to bring attention to the offenders! Now if only there was a way to make sure they read it. You know, I have never really thought about the special treatment drivers receive over those unable to drive or those who choose not to drive. The preferential treatment for vehicle owner’s receiving special services not provided to walking taxpayers is totally unacceptable. Power to the pedestrians! Great to have a couple of new heroes!

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