There’s always a woodpecker
Looky here, it’s the middle of January. Getting on towards the dead of winter, eh b’ys? Consider the status of 24 hour snow clearing for a second. It doesn’t matter to me what it is because I’m caught in a Time Spiral that boomerangs me in Time like an automobile playing spin-top on a slippery highway.
Moments ago, the Spiral took me back to a morning this past December. Yes, I know that’s only a month or so ago in Real Time, if there is such a thing, but…
“Harry, my most timely love,” says Dearest Duck, who’s been by my side — and at my shoulder — all the Times of my life, “what old foolishness are scribbling today?”
“An earlier Time, my Duck,” say I. “That Time in December when, at the crack of dawn, we hit the road for Costco.”
“Pfffttt,” says Dearest Duck, or some such dismissive sound. “We are still paying for that trip.” Anyway… It had snowed overnight and, apparently, plows were still snuggled in their blankets — of snow? — at their various depots. There was no sign that they’d tackled the Argentia Access Road.
As early rising Facebook friends had posted, the road beyond Dunville was “like the glass.”
“Perhaps we should turn back,” said Dearest Duck as the rising sun’s light glinted off the hard-packed snow.
“Be brave, my Duck,” said I, applying gas and urging our Chevy onwards.
“Take your time,” said Dearest Duck, stretching her seatbelt forward and adding another set of fingernail scars to the already pocked and clawed dashboard. “Relax,” said I. Then, for badness, I did something stund. Well, not completely stund. First, I checked that there was no other traffic on the road. First? Yes, first, before I goosed our Chevy up to 110kms and then slammed on the brakes. Wheeeeeeeee! We spun round and round doing luge-like wheelies. Dearest Duck’s embedded nails kept her braced until…
… the car’s arse- end smacked against a humongous chunk of ice on the shoulder and caused the fender damage that — see Dearest’s remark above — we’re still paying for.
Yes, I was an idiot. But if the plows hadn’t been sleeping I wouldn’t have been tempted.
“Harry,” says Dearest Duck, “that is no excuse. You might have killed us.” Speaking of idiots. There’s a cartoon of Noah’s ark in which Noah and a boatload of animal couples are leaning over the gunnels watching dumbfounded and aghast as a woodpecker hammers a hole in the hull an inch above the waterline.
The caption: There’s always an idiot on a boat.
“Indeed,” says Dearest Duck, “and there’s always an idiot on a snowy road.”
Pick a point in Time when you’re travelling on a highway and snow is falling. You and all the other sensible drivers [!] follow each other in appropriate crawling convoy suitable to deteriorating conditions. Then what? Before too long, a glance in the rear-view mirror shows you a woodpecker in an Alberta truck, accompanied by its own four-wheeled blizzard, tannin’ ‘er broadsides to all hands, bound for the front of the line.
Be honest. Don’t you hope that farther along you will see ol’ Buddy Woodpecker nose down in the median? “Harry!” Okay. Another Time. Duckish — double-duckish considering Dearest was at my side — of a snowy evening we are driving into Dunville after a weary return trip from The Capitol. Even with the lights on low-beam snow whirls at the windshield in a vortex. Dearest Duck’s fingernails are already bent and broken from a whiteout near Witless Bay Line. Nevertheless, she holds them poised, like Puss ready to pounce.
Half a kilometer inside Dun- ville a woodpecker on a trike — yes, a trike! — blasts from our slipstream’s swirling snow, roars past on the driver’s side and cuts in front of us. “Frig,” wasn’t what I said. Dearest’s already punished nails sink knuckle-deep in the dash.
Then, appearing suddenly, like Spiderman or some equally heroic pursuer of Bad Guys — and moron woodpeckers — an RCMP cruiser pulls out around us and hightails it after the trike’s vanish taillights.
“Pluck that woodpecker’s tail feathers,” or words to that effect, says Dearest Duck, rooting for the Mountie.
I confess, if I was on Noah’s Big Boat and bored to death after nigh on to 40 days adrift, I’d prob’ly be picking at the oakum caulking the seams.
But it’s winter in the Ball Room. Sometimes it’s snowy. B’ys, don’t be woodpeckers. Thank you for reading. Be mindful in traffic.