The Prairie Spy

Alan “Lindy” Linda

Using her sweet conniving voice, Brunhilde the Driveway contacted me this morning earlier, while I was moving about the snowy farm yard admiring the large white frosty flocking job that Mother Nature had done on everything. Once one eliminated the less likeable aspects of winter, she can put a frost buildup on everything that is remarkably pretty. 

Mother Nature, it seems, likes to mix up her messages. Maybe she’s trying to convince us to let our guards down, not plug in our vehicles, forget to buy a new snow shovel, put off plowing the driveway because spring might come early. Stuff like that. She’s tricky.

So I’m standing out there in the yard when Brunhilde called me. Her honey-coated voice was more sugar-sweet than normal, meaning she was trying to beguile me into doing something stupid.

Aren’t you going to plow your driveway today, Mr. Spy? (she likes to act so innocent)

I’ll make sure you can see the edges of the driveway, Mr. Spy. (uh huh, fat chance)

The last few weeks there has been such an accumulation of snow and such a grey overcast that it has been impossible to tell where the driveway edges end, and the ditch begins. I went out early a few days ago with the plow truck, pushed on down Brunhilde on pure instinct as to where the edges were, and plowed off into the ditch. For those of you who have never been stuck with an eight-foot Western plow in front of you, it’s important to note that you cannot lift the blade high enough to clear the snow bank that sucked you in.

I shut the truck off and walked to the house, thinking that I’d put off finding help to get it out another time, like, when summer came, or I had more beer, or…

I had no more than walked into the house when the phone rang. It was the well repairman who had just relieved me of part of my retirement savings for a new well pump not that long ago. “Say,” he said, “I was just going by. Do you need some help getting out.”

Oh boy do I, I told him. I also told him that the last time someone made Brunhilde cross, three people ended up stuck:–two four-wheel-drive pickups and a septic pumper. He allowed as to how it was okay, he’d back up the driveway to me, no problem.

I walked  back out and down the Brunhilde, hooked the strap up he had, and then looked further out, toward the road. It turned out we were drawing a crowd of four-wheel-drive trucks. Everyone wants to pull someone out if they’re an upstanding member of The Guy’s Club.

You see, being able to use your truck to pull some other unfortunate guy’s truck out is the modern-day equivalent of those days when you could challenge someone to a duel. In this case, the challenge is less life threatening, of course, but Guys have to do the best they can. If you pull me out, that means that you’ll never have to buy beer if I’m around. It’s truck-on-truck, a simple  but effective alternative to competition that could lead to saber wounds or bullet holes.

Well driller is trying to pull me out while the road end of the driveway is filling up with four-wheel-drive wannabe puller-outers. Since no one could effectively tell where the driveway ended and the ditch began, it was beginning to resemble a full-scale clusterduck.

Ha, ha. I’m having such a nice day, and just when i thought you’d make it to spring without giving me a chance to bury you

Brunhilde never misses a chance to harass me, and she had me right where she wanted me–smack in her ditchy clutches.

The well driller truck pulled. Black smoke came from its exhaust. I spun the snowplow wheels and threw snow up in the air. Two more trucks pulled into the driveway, hoping against hope. Guys are hopeless optimists.

The well driller truck spun. The snow plow truck was dragged backwards, the snow plow blade itself grabbed onto by Brunhilde, who wasn’t letting go.

Another truck going by on the road slowed down but kept going. Smart guy. He knew a disaster in the making.

And then I was out. Other trucks went on their way, hoping for some other dummy they could pull out.

The frost sure is pretty, though.