I have never yet met a man who didn't melt at the site of my snowblower. When I pull that shiney, red contraption out of the shed and begin working on the driveway, I can sense a ripple in the force. The collective ears of my adult male neighbors perk up. I'm able to make two, maybe three, passes up and down the driveway before one of them comes out suited up in their snow gear.
"Why don't you let me do that," he might say. From a distance, this would look to a passerby like a gentleman helping out a lady neighbor with a cold, wet and possibly dangerous chore. But up close, I can see the desire in his eyes. This is no mission of mercy. He wants to get his work-gloved hands on the throttle. He wants to pull-start that little engine. He wants to squeeze the hand controls to engage the auger. He wants to turn that crank to redirect the snow fountain as he marches up and down the driveway with the speed cranked to six.
But I play along. I reply, "Oh that would be nice of you." And I watch him try to hide his glee as I step away from the red machine and show him the controls. He tromps off behind the snowblower and I pick up a shovel to get to the tight spots. I always smile to myself, feeling a bit like Santa Claus and Tom Sawyer all at once.
I also feel a little bit disapporinted. Sure, someone else is doing my chores, but running the snowblower is amazingly satisfying work. I love that damn thing. I love the way it sounds. I love the way it smells. I love the way it shoots snow out of the front. I love how you can push it through knee-deep snow and end up with a path. No other machine does so much work with so little effort. So, truly, I hate to hand over the controls, but I do anyway. Who am I to hoard all that fun to myself?