If there's one thing I love about my neighborhood, it's the spirit of cooperation among the neighbors. It's been snowing steadily and hard since last night, and everybody's out shoveling walks. The funny thing is, though, that very few people out shoveling are shoveling their own walks. The whole pay it forward thing is on a bit of a loop. You go out to shovel your own walk, discover that it's already been shoveled, and then you shovel the walk next door. It's almost becoming a bit of a competition to see who can be the one to get out first to do their own walk and that of their neighbor!
And you'd think my neighbors would have the advantage there, being old and all. Oh they are pure stealth, the elderly. You think they're just being feeble, going to bed all early and stuff, but that's exactly what they want you to think. "Oh you kids stay up and have a good time, I'm going to get some shut eye" they say, but what they mean is "Wear yourself out there, kiddo - I'll see you bright and early tomorrow morning, but you won't see me. You'll be completely unconscious, and I'll be sharp as a tack and ready for action MWAH HAHAHAHAHA!"
And THAT's when they let their guard down. Make a note of that, because they don't let it down often. Remember, they're retired - they have nothing better to do all damn day but figure out ways to get a jump on you. You find a chink in their armor, you penetrate - don't hesitate!
You go and you get up early, grandpa. Sweep that morning skiff of snow right up. And then you just take that lovely little gratified grin of yours off to the senior's center and enjoy your little bridge game, secure in the knowledge that you'll be home again in lots of time to scrape up the snow still falling before everybody gets back from work...
...but oh wait, what's this? Could it be...
...a work at home artist with no social life?
Oooh yeah you got competition now, shovel boy! And oh, look what else you have. A clean sidewalk. A clean sidewalk that YOU didn't shovel.
Now who's the altruistic one? Huh? Huh? Now who's got the warm feeling of neighborly love?
That's right, baby. The game just got taken to the next level.
How early you gonna go to bed now, hard candy man?
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