By John Hubbuch
The annual hysteria of the season's first snowfall descended upon Oak Park on Thursday. The local news did its usual end of days reporting. There was a run on snow shovels. Some flights were cancelled. And the commute home took longer. Oh the humanity of it all. The TV stations could save some money by just running the same tape next year. No one would notice. I remember the good old days when there was a newscast at 5 pm and 10 pm. Now, they have added 4:30 am, noon and 4 pm. We should go back to those good old days. I suppose we might not get to see YouTube clips of singing cats and grieving parents at crime scenes, but I bet we could eventually overcome our disappontment.
The first snowfall is also time for an ethical reflection as to just why some people don't shovel their walks. Now, there are arguably valid excuses: hardware store ran out of shovels, travel, age, infirmity et al ad nauseum. I like shoveling snow. Unlike dusting or vaccuming, you can actually see results. But I mainly shovel to be a good neighbor and to avoid responsibility for hurting the paper guy, the mail lady, visitors and me. Some people do not have this sensibility, and I wonder what's wrong with them. Nature or nurture? Did John Wayne Gacy shovel his walk? Probably not.
Even worse are the apartment owners and businesses that don't shovel. I thought there was a law requiring shoveling. So there are legal as well as commercial reasons to shovel, yet quite a few don't. Do they bribe the Village? Is the land title in a secret trust? How come the tenants don't complain? Do they get an unshoveled discount on their rent? How about: "Free coffee today. We don't shovel our walk." It is very annoying.
So the first storm is over. As noted I was bothered by a few things, but then I remembered Jay Z and Beyonce had a baby. Thank God everyone is healthy. I'm so happy.