H e l p i n g H a n d:
OK, it's a fine Saturday morning. You are sitting on a chair, staring out the window at the neighborhood (all covered in snow) whilst your younger brothers and sisters run about, yelling, screaming, and whatnot.
Your da's away on a trip, and your mum is in the kitchen. Nothing else to do 'round your house 'cept sit, watch TV, surf the internet... But you've done those things so many times, doing 'em again doesn't seem to appeal to you.
Now, just before, it had been snowing bucketloads out there. Now that thing's have calmed down, your mum mozies on over to where you sit, and says 'Oh! The snow has stopped! Maybe we should go out there and shovel!' (Number one rule 'round your house, when parents use the word “we” don't ever be fooled. They usually translate that word to be “you”.)
'What?' you say, staring at the snow on the ground. 'But it's probably ten-million degrees below zero out there!' (Now, your mum can take arguments and the like, 'cos she knows that she'll win anyway. Not to mention that you exaggerate a lot.)
'No it's not,' she disagrees. 'Besides, your father will be home soon, go out there and clear some spot for him to park. It's called “A Helping Hand”.' (Your da doesn't park his van in the garage 'cos your mum's van is in there. She has claimed dibbs on the garage before your father could was why.) Now, your dad parks out in the backyard, on the grass. (Or snow.) He hasn't got anywhere else to park, and since there's so much snow on the ground where he parks, it's only natural that you go out there and dig the snow out at a suitable size for his van.
Reluctantly, and with some time, you agree to go out and shovel. Afterall, your father isn't getting any younger, and being a “Helping Hand” sounds pretty cool. Your mum assigns your little sister to aid you on your shoveling expedition outside ('I want to be a Helping Hand too!' your little sister screams.) Your consent is merely a grunt.
Now, what happens next? You and your sister start bundling up is what. Mum was there to help bury you in clothing (from scarves to mittens to socks to hats to earmuffs to whatever else) that'll help you avoid dying out there from the cold. You appreciate it, but you silently reckon that you'll pro'bly die from heatwave (caused by the multiple layers of clothing) before you can even start shoveling. You refrain from saying anything though, to spare yourself from arguing with your mother any farther.
Now you're outside. Your sister grabs the small little sister-sized shovel and runs to the backyard. Lazily, you grab the other one (a bit too big for you, but it'll do) and walk after her. You then start pondering where your little sister gets her energy from. (All little siblings seem to have energy that comes out of NOWHERE. Ah, the mysteries of life.)
When you reach the backyard, you find that your little sister is already digging up a small corner of the “gonna-be-lot” for your da. The snow is atleast 2-3 feet tall. Sighing, you get to work too. You don't want to be accused of the fact that she was doing all the work whilst you laid about doing absolutely nothing from your mum. (Your mum watches from the windows, but when she gets bored, she'll go elsewhere.)
You decide to make the “lot” long. Mainly 'cos 1.) Your da always parks deep within the backyard, and 2.) To give him plenty of parking space. (Your da is sensitive with parking space.)
You discuss this idea with your little sister. She agrees. You both get to work. (But before you start on the “lot” both you and your sister shovels the walks whilst your mum watches you through the windows.)
Finally, you get started on digging the “lot”. You clear out a whole bunch of space whilst your little sister runs around in the snow, playing and throwing the snow in to the air. (You were too busy to notice this, but when you think about this later, you can remember your little sister playing around whilst you were working.)
Fifteen to twenty minutes later, you're done! Finally! You stand back to check out your work. The “lot” is quite long (not long enough to run across the yard, but about 1/3 of it) and you're pretty sure it would fit your da's van perfectly.
Satisfied, and happily awaiting the warmth of your home compared to the cold outside, you walk back into the house, with your little sister (who was now covered in snow). Afore you both enter the house, you both laid your shovels right outside the door, to the right.
Your mum's there, waiting, so she helps get your little sister out of her clothing. You put away your jacket, scarf, mittens (etc etc;) and take out your drawing pad. You then start drawing for the rest of the day, the thought of 'I'm a “Helping Hand”!' running through your mind.
Now the next day, something comes up about the “lot”. It seems that there has been a tad bit of trouble last night when your da has arrived.
Your da consults with you. You stand there, confused. What? This didn't make any sense. You DID help out, afterall!
It was only then, when your da start explaining, did you get it.
It seemed that you have shoveled the “lot” at just the right length. 'It was PERFECT,' your da had told you. 'Cept, there had been one problem.
You were so focused on shoveling the lot at the right LENGTH, but you never minded the WIDTH.
Now, don't get it wrong. You shoveled the “lot” at precisely the PERFECT width for the van to park. Only, it was TOO perfect.
The “lot” fitted the van well. But only the van. Since the snow bordering your da's van was atleast 2-3 feet tall, and fitted the van TOO perfectly, the car door had a hard time opening.
And because the car door had a hard time opening, your da had a hard time getting OUT of the car.
Your little sister walks by. Your da rounds on her. 'You were there, right? Why didn't you correct your older sibling?'
She shrugs. “I wasn't there.” She walks off.
Sure enough, your sister wasn't there. She had only played around elsewhere, whilst you worked on the “lot”.
You sigh. So much for “Helping Hand”.
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