=Okay. The Salt Patrol is ready to ride.
Faaaaar up the Dirty Old Green Honda Accord. CHECK!
Sweep the four (or whatever) inches of snow off the windows, et al. CHECK!
Load up the handy dandy salt bucket. (I keep my salt in a drywall bucket, betcha can’t guess who I stole it from). CHECK!
Do we have the salt scoop? CHECK.
Ladies and gentlemen, I fell this morning. I was NOT a happy camper. We’ve had a more or less “real” winter here this year. The kind that makes people say stuff like, “Global warming?” I have walked in all kinds of conditions. About once every 10 days or so, I cancel my morning walk because there is a quarter inch of ice coating everything. It wasn’t that bad this morning. Actually, it was mostly okay. But it was one of those mornings when about an inch or two of snow covered everything. That’s great if there’s nice dry, SALTED pavement under your feet. And there mostly was. There was some boilerplate ice under there too but you can SEE that because it’s uneven. So. I slipped and slid just a bit a few times but was able to catch myself. Until I was walking up Westwood. I was getting toward the end of my loop. I guess I had pretty much figgered that I had encountered pretty much every kind of condition there was by that time. I was trucking along and all of a sudden my feet totally went out from under me. Ka-whomp! I was on the ground. It was a little slower motion than the last time I did something like that and my back and head didn’t totally crack onto the sidewalk. That last time, it was two or three days before I stopped feeling like a giant had picked me up and shaken me. That was years ago. I can’t remember exactly what year but people were *years* away from college and The Indefatigable didn’t have big holes in it when we went down to stealth-salt that idjit’s sidewalk so it’s been at least 10 years.
The last time I fell, I stood up really quick and assessed whether I thought I could actually get home under my own power. Yes was the answer and probably the fact that I didn’t quit my normal exercise schedule over the next couple days was a good thing. Today I was just MAD! I stood up and yelled a whole bunch of expletives at no one in particular, hoping the homeowner would hear me. I was prepared for a confrontation. I went home and loaded up the DHOGA with salt, drove back over there and salted the heck out of that sidewalk. Unfortunately, no one saw me. I don’t think. I was almost hoping they would so I could say, “I went into freefall on your sidewalk this morning. Why don’t you salt it?”
And then. I realized that the homeowner was a friend of mine. I had been so upset before that I didn’t recognize whose house it was! A wonderful person, a VERY busy one, that I don’t see very often any more. We were definitely on the same team the year the Planet Ann Arbor Public School District killed our beloved alternative middle school. Bad idea. Anyway, on the rare occasions we see each other now, it’s all, “Hey, how’veya been, what are you doing now, what are your kids doing now?” I stopped being mad at her. I know how busy she is and I bet she doesn’t even realize she has a death trap on her sidewalk.
I don’t know what to do or say here. This is the kind of person who probably gets overwhelmed by the recycling rules around here (easy enough to do). I bet she doesn’t regularly walk the sidewalks of the Planet. Definitely not when they might be icy. But the rules here say that you have to salt (or sand). And people SHOULD! Especially when they have places that collect sheets of water during thaws.
My dad *died* as the direct result of a fall on ice. At least he said he fell on ice. Some of the rest of us aren’t totally sure that ice was involved. It’s a moot point. Please, people, salt your sidewalks. I don’t want to fall. I don’t need concussions or broken bones. And you do NOT want to be on the other end of my anger. When I get angry, it ain’t pretty.
Er, note to self. Put salt on the grokkery list. You are gonna prob’ly run out tomorrow. Again…