Tuesday, December 8, 2009

We Are Having Hamburgers For Dinner

We are having hamburgers for dinner.

Two inches of snow fell in northeastern Kansas last night. Naturally, school had to be closed. In northern states, school children of all ages walk to school in two inches of snow so often that if someone comments on it the answer is usually, “It snowed last night?” The people who are paid to make a wild guess at the weather forecast predicted that we’d be getting more snow this afternoon, which I suspect is the real reason that the school district shut down. Egads! Bobby and Susie might have to walk home in four inches of snow.

A few hours after shoveling our walk and our driveway, and after clearing off the Boss’ car, I strolled over to Bob’s house to shovel his driveway. That was when General Mayhem told me that he broke our shovel. He was using it in the backyard to gather snow for a fort. I was really annoyed, but only due to the fact that I did not have another shovel with which to shovel Bob’s place. Our snow shovel was old and well used. It died in service to yet another snowfall. May it rest in a landfill for a thousand years in peace. I appreciated the General’s honesty.

Bob was wearing pants when he answered his front door, which was a bonus but is not always a guarantee. I asked him if I could use his shovel to clear his driveway.

“Why?!” he exclaimed, shaking his head. “The snow will be gone by my birthday!”

His birthday is in July.

“Because this is wet, heavy, heart attack snow,” I told him. “And I know you. You’ll get a wild hair and decide to shovel.”

He went in search of his snow shovel, but couldn’t find it. I spent the next half an hour shoveling his driveway and front walk using a square garden shovel. It did a great job. I was able to scrape off the ice and snow clear to the pavement, and the blade was so small that I couldn’t pick up a large, heavy scoop full of snow. Large, heavy scoops full of wet snow have brought down more than a few shovelers with massive heart attacks.

Bob disappeared into his house while I cleared the ground. I thought he was going back inside to put in his teeth. Sometimes he does that. Bob has dress teeth and work teeth and no teeth. His dress teeth are his nicest pair. He wears them for church and visits to the doctor. His work teeth aren’t as pleasant, and they are missing a couple of teeth in the front, but I guess they work for chewing. Today he was going au natural. When he came out of his house he handed me a bag.  It contained three pounds of ground beef.

"I bought the wrong kind of beef," he gummed.

The fat content was too high, and he wanted to make room in the freezer for the new ground beef that he was going to buy. Bob also told me that he was a bit high on Oxycontin for pain in his back and legs. I suspect that he wanted to do something to thank me for shoveling his walk. It is the first time that I have been paid with beef for shoveling snow.

And that is why we are having hamburgers for dinner.


Kellie said...

I'll bet hamburgers will go really well with your snow.

TobyBo said...


what a roundabout story

now I am wondering if the burgers are round, too...

Kathleen said...

Why, that's like being paid in meatballs (a la Wedding Singer, if you're willing to watch an Adam Sandler movie).

Loved the story and your characterization of Bob! And how neighborly of you. May it come back to you tenfold. Perhaps in the form of filet mignon next time.

CrossView said...

Darn. We have no neighbors and no snow so I guess I'll just have to keep buying our beef. I'm not sure Guy would appreciate me offering his services, anyway. ;o)

Quite neighborly of you! And Bob sounds like quite an interesting character. Just the kind I like...

Karla @ Ramblin' Roads said...

I'm always interested to know what folks are having for dinner. And it's good to know the WHY as well. Glad Bob had his pants on. That's very interesting about the teeth... never knew anyone who had dress teeth and everyday teeth!!

Linda said...

I like the old fashioned way of getting paid or bartering. My kind of neighbor.. both of you.

Teacher Mommy said...

Thank you for the wry chuckle on a day that has been Horrible, Very Bad, and (Almost) No Good. I knew I could count on you.

Michelle said...

Gee, and I thought we'd get to see pictures of Christmas shaped burgers-trees, stars, manger, etc. I guess that you could always say they're ornaments!

Alyce said...

What an entertaining post! I haven't ever been paid in beef either, but I have been paid in babysitting before (one of the best currencies in my little world).

I found this post via Ramblin' Roads (just so you know). :)