Monday, February 4, 2013

The Sidewalks (and Driveways) of Death

It's a new month. A short month. Just 24 days away from what I consider Kinda Sorta Almost Spring in Bermtopia: The blessed month of March.

But in the meantime, during this artist fog bank also known as February I have a new nemesis: Freezing fog.

Never underestimate the power of freezing fog and gravity.
It turns sidewalks and driveways into unpredictable roads to hell.

As a daily dog walker, Winter is not my kindest season. My already questionable dignity is surgically and systematically shredded with diabolical precision almost every day when I set out with Ben, slipping and sliding and clambering over the obstacles created by the same eff-ing five inches of snow, arrived in December, melted and frozen, rinsed and repeated several times over, present every morning.

But freezing fog. Ah yes, freezing fog. It means it's warming up during the day. But not so much at night. Freezing fog -- if you're lucky enough to live in snow-free zones -- is black, invisible ice. It coats everything.

You don't know it till you've encountered it. Up close and personal. Case in point: Friday -- I was strolling along nicely with Ben and with just one foot step found myself sitting Indian-style in the middle of a sidewalk. No bones broken, no blood shed, just one gray dog, ears back, tail down, circling around, sniffing frantically.

"Oh heavenforbetsy. Get up. Before the neighbors see. We look like idiots."

It's at this point you become a connoisseur of concrete. Our city fathers of the 1920s, 30s and 40s knew the dose -- a proper combination of grit and concrete for reasonable traction.

The "new" concrete -- the stuff many neighbors use to replace driveways and tree root-infested sidewalks is a light gray skating rink. It basically shouts, 'YOU'RE GOIN' DOWN, FOOL. YOU'RE GOIN' DOWN."

So you have a choice: Tentatively portage across a Driveway of Death or tackle the relentless snow berms, crawl to the street, a broken human being, and take your chances.

Decision made, safely upright on the street. . . . that's when you watch your dog do His Business, under a neighbor's living room picture window, accessible only by a Sidewalk and Driveway of Death.

Thank you, Ben. Thank you very much.
You're welcome!


  1. My god, you're funny! I think the berms and slip ways really bring out the Shakespeare in you.

    You didn't really say heavensforbetsy did you, Ben? I bet you were just frantic with worry that your Queen was eating black ice. Thanks for the explanation btw. Living in the sunburnt country makes me igorant about stuff like that BWAH haha! X

    P.S. don't Americans sue for stuff like this? Surely someone is responsible. Your neighbours? Council? There's money to be made here, I just know it.

  2. We don't have frozen fog here, but there are still plenty of ops to slip and wrench a back! Even my dogs have had the occasional spill!