In your undergraduate studies (i.e., our first post about shoveling snow), you learned about the perfect, most efficient way to shovel a standard straight-run driveway: Divide and Conquer. Easy, fast, and obviously genius on the part of me, the inventor. But as neat a method as it is, Divide and Conquer will not always work. Sometimes there is too much snow to move quickly. Sometimes you have to shovel a wide open area that can’t easily be divided. It’s time for your graduate studies. Tuition is free.
In addition to the essential Divide and Conquer technique (click here to read about it!), I have developed three additional methods that will enable you to effectively take on all shoveling scenarios without looking like a slob.
To aid us in our training, please allow me to introduce Mr. Shovelbunny:
Mr. Shovelbunny knows his stuff. Watch and learn.
She Loves Snow, She Loves Snow Not
Sometimes driveways have parking spots or turnaround areas. Mine does. I didn’t mention this in the previous post because I didn’t want to frighten you, but it’s another 211 square feet. The issue with these areas is that you can’t properly apply the Divide and Conquer method we covered previously. The total width is too much!
What do you do? Mr. Shovelbunny, if you don’t mind, please show us the “She Loves Snow, She Loves Snow Not” technique.
Thank you very kindly, Mr. Shovelbunny.
The idea is to plant your feet and just push snow away from you rapidly, from side to side, fanning it out. With each shovel, alternately chant “she loves snow” and “she loves snow not” (of course you can replace the “she” with “he” as necessary). This chant has been proven to improve your communication skills with potential mates.
Step 1: Plant feet, think about the one you love.
Step 2: Starting from the left, push the snow ahead as far as you can in a forceful thrust. Chant “she loves snow!”
Step 3: Quickly do it again one shovel-width to the right. “She loves snow not!”
Step 4: Repeat until you can’t logically continue. Keep chanting.
Step 5: Start again in a new spot, or shift to one of my other methods if the snow starts to build up.
Step 6: What was the last part of the chant you said before finishing with this method? If it was “she loves snow not”, finish your driveway and then invite that special someone over and show off your beautifully clear driveway. If it was “she loves snow”, buy that special someone a semi-cheap-but-not-the-absolute-cheapest shovel and invite them over for the dividing and conquering of the rest of the driveway. Both make for excellent, inexpensive (and potentially titillating!) dates!
Throw the Snow
When you have a big open annoying area to clear as above in She Loves Snow, She Loves Snow Not, but the snow has built up too much, here’s your solution. Discipline is key here. It’s what separates us from the animals. Except Shovelbunnies.
Step 1: Plant your feet. Identify a spot at the edge of your driveway/turnaround/parking area where you’re OK with piling up snow.
Step 2: Scoop up some snow and throw it using an underhanded method. Don’t bother doing a big windup. One smooth motion.
Step 3: Repeat step two over and over until you have to take a few steps forward and continue until you’re exhausted and hate shoveling so much you’re actually considering buying a snow blower or calling a plow. Resist the urge!
Step 4: Take a break. Have some coffee or hot chocolate or homebrewed beer. Or mix all 3 together to make an Honest Shoveler’s Mocha Stout!
Step 5: Finish the job using Steps 2 and 3. Have another Honest Shoveler’s Mocha Stout. Well done, you earned it! High five, Mr. Shovelbunny!
The Shovel Master (Throw the Snow + Divide and Conquer)
This is the ideal method of tackling deep snow. Simply utilize the theory of Divide and Conquer, but instead of relying on easy swipes, employ Throw the Snow (above) to move the deeper snow.
Let’s thank Mr. Shovelbunny for his excellent demonstrations!
If you successfully clear a driveway with these advanced techniques and resisted the evil temptation to call a plow or buy a snow blower, congratulations! You’ve earned a Master’s degree in Shoveling Studies.