A Reader Needs Help and I’m Here to Help


Dear Austin’s Acre,

I have a problem.  First, I have a really big driveway.  Second, I hate shoveling snow.  With winter weather approaching, do you have an idea how to address the issue?

Signed, Snowed in South Bend

Dear Snowed,

I DO have an answer:  Fake a heart condition.

Neighbors are always there to help (especially if you are Amish).  Take advantage of their generosity by placing the bug in their ear that you’re ticker is giving you problems. Of course, you cannot do this overnight and you might be too far into this shoveling season to pull.  Next year’s snow will not be a problem if you follow these easy steps.   This will take some planning on your part but I’m confident you can pull this off.

1. At neighborhood functions, explain that you need to turn down that hot dog because you are eating a “heart-healthy” diet. You are not lying to the neighbors.  In fact, you know you need to lose a few pounds anyway.

2. When mowing your yard, stop and rub your chest and grab your left arm when the neighbors are watching.

3. Keep a bottle of pills in your pocket at all times.  These can be Altoids.  No one needs to know.  They just know you have “medication” and incredibly fresh breath.

4. Rub your chest when you get your mail (people always watch their neighbors get their mail) and then pretend to pop one of those “pills” you always have in your pocket.  Those watching will think you are taking Nitroglycerin tablets, when in fact, you are just increasing the minty-freshness of your mouth.

5. Leave your house for a few days and let your newspapers stack up.  When you return, you explain to everyone that you were having some “tests” run.  Again, rub your chest for efffect.  Do not visit a tropical location, a tan is a dead give-away to your plan.

6. In the fall, before the first snow, get out your shovel and in full view of your neighbors, take a couple practice swipes with it.  Stop suddenly, allow the shovel to fall out of your hands, drop to one knee, pause, and with a shaking hand pop a “pill”.  Be patient, this little drama is the final sell to those who are watching.  Get up, very slowly, leaving the shovel in the drive and stagger back into the house.

I guarantee if  you follow these six simple steps, you’ll have neighbors lined up to clear your drive with the first falling flakes.