Frabjous Times


It occurs to me that people in more temperate climates and those who don't have driveways or sidewalks to keep up miss the pleasure of icebreaking. Real icebreaking, not the kind done at parties, with a great big heavy steel icebreaking blade to dig down under the crust and lift up large flat slabs of solid precip. In the wake of the most recent snowstorm last weekend I spent some time outside using something called The Mutt (for MUlti Use Tool) which I picked up some years ago in Pittsburgh. It does a good job on the kind of snow which is just too stiff for a light snow shovel to punch through (whatever word the Inuit use to call it), and really works well on chipping at frozen puddles. This activity involves a combination of precision, aiming the blade at the optimum fracture points of the ice, and force, to slam the thing home. It's what I imagine golf to be like, never having played the game, only without clubs and balls and with sheets of ice instead... The payoff is when a perfect stroke knocks a large flat chunk of ice away in a single piece.
If only I could come up with a way to keep score, I think I could turn this into a real sport.
Originally published: 2004/01/20 10:50:25