YETI (prompt of the day by

That white shit – as New Englanders lately call it – really is getting out of hand this year. I mean, the Eastern states of the US are no strangers to blizzards, Nor’ Easters, or comparably tame snowstorms of the regular kind. It is a way of life. You can count yourself lucky if you can detect a tiny spot of grass or soil between the months of November and March. Without cheating and digging through inches of snow, that is!

What does the average New Englander do this year before s/he leaves for work in the morning (provided there is no snow- or ‘cold’day and the office/school is closed anyways)? S/he puts on the inofficial uniform of Peruvian knitted earflap hats, uggs, and some variation of North Face outerwear, turns on the snowblower, and goes at it – exactly like each of his/her neighbours!

Of course, by now, there are about 6 feet of snow piled up along sidewalks and drive ways. And the darn thing won’t melt! So the snow shooting out of the snowblower’s chute ricochets off the established snowwalls and happily envelopes the snowblower’s driver. Unless the machine pulls a ‘Frenchy’ and strikes in view of that sticky mess. Which, actually, is lucky compared to loosing that safety pin which is always impossible to find in the snow. So back into the garage goes the snowblower, and out comes the good old shovel. More and harder work, a good amount of swearing and hissing and grunting, eyes tearing, fingers freezing, sweat pouring, back aching, whole self covered in sticky snow.

7 a.m. has not met daylight yet. What it has met, however, is a cohorte of Yeti-like creatures that stumble about in the dawn. Contorted faces with icicles dangling precariously from noses and beards, shapeless feet stomping angrily on patches of frozen snow, scary growls emitted from chapped lips, snow-covered bodies moving with the grace of Frankenstein’s monster…

They disappear around 8 a.m., these pre-dawn Yetis, only to return after 7 p.m. for the evening shift.

And nobody ever mentions them at social events in the neighbourhood. They are a well-kept secret. Nobody wants to admit to being one of the suburban Yetis…everybody rather brags about how *their* snowblower has more power and makes fun at their neighbours, who have not received mail in a week because they didn’t shovel the path to the mailbox.