ALL ABOARD | Slipping into the New Year

Given that this is my last published column of calendar year 2008, I feel pressure to make this entry really dynamic, something that the previous seven months of Wednesday musings have failed to achieve.

The dynamics of being dynamic are certainly filled with dynamism.

In fact, the definition of “dynamics” is a good start before we spring forth dynamically into the final column of the year.

On page 259 of Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate, “dynamics” is defined as “a branch of mechanics that deals with forces and their relation primarily to the motion but sometimes also to the equilibrium of bodies of matter.”

In other words, we’re talking how to walk in the snow when you are not prepared.

To paraphrase John McCain, “That, my friends, is dynamics: Walking in the snow when you are not prepared.”

Last week I was the non-Boy Scout with a merit badge in advanced slipperiness.

Last week’s scary moments with my Chevy Durango pickup could be a great new music video for Paul Simon’s song “Slip Sliding Away.”

As my friend Elliott said when he and Drew did a drive-by firewood gifting in El’s chained up four-by-four, “Freeman, what are you doing driving a two-by-two?”

That’s when Drew began doing his best tall Bob Dylan singing the fight song for Slippery Rock University.

Imagine Dylan’s voice with these rhythmic consternations: “Slide On, Slide On, You slippery devils you! Slide on, slide on, We’re here to slide with you.”

I guess you had to be there.

My best invention last week as an unprepared, non-Boy Scout in the snow was created after not anticipating how I would get the groceries down our half-mile-long, 45-degree angled driveway.

I sure couldn’t drive down. I’d never get back up.

I had three objects in the back of my truck; a bamboo laundry basket, a trash bag and a maul.

Consider this story captioned, “A Maul and the Night Inventors.”

For the first time in my life, the frustrations and inconveniences of last week’s unexpected snow caused me to re-think paper over plastic.

Even the double-handled paper grocery bags cannot withstand the wind chill of a Bayview hill.

After loading the grocery cart with plastic bags of essentials, I carefully returned to my rig to repack the groceries for the soon-to-be treacherous walk home.

Then it hit me like a snow bank on Zig Zag Lane.

I could put the plastic-bagged groceries in the trash bag, place them securely in the bamboo laundry basket and tow all by attaching the head of the maul to the front of the basket.

Just call me U-Maul.

What a wagon train it was, dragging my maul like a wagon handle, pulling the laundry basket sled of supplies down a channel cut earlier by the wide tires of neighbor Terry’s Jeep.

Holiday relief at last!

May your New Year’s Eve wagon train be free of slip sliding and the New Year your most dynamic ever!