To the person who complained about the ice on my sidewalk: Thank you so much for letting me know that the snow you and your fellow pedestrians had packed into impenetrable ice while it fell was getting a little slipperier with the recent thaw. I’d left some sand on it after I'd shoveled all I could but the thaw washed that away and I was out. We’re neighbors and I’m glad that we communicate as neighbors, through the city inspection division. The fine will certainly help remind me that, with the 60 hours I work a week and the 80 hours my boyfriend does, we have more time than the three hours we spent initially trying to clear the sidewalk and the additional three we spent this Sunday fruitlessly searching hardware stores for salt.
To the City of Madison: I’m glad you’re putting that no-warning, whiner’s ordinance to good use. It would be completely unreasonable to expect anything less than dry pavement after an ice storm in the snowiest year on record. I was intrigued, though, that you considered my sidewalk to be dangerous. It’s in exactly the same condition as the sidewalk along that patch of city land that borders my backyard. You know, the one I mow for you. Maybe when you send people over tomorrow to clear my sidewalk they can do yours as well. I went out tonight with the pickaxe and gave them a head start so they won’t have to spend as much time on mine (presumably with hairdryers). Speaking of my limitations, there’s just been an unexpected drain on my pocketbook. I’m afraid I’ll have to cut back on gas for the lawnmower. If your inspectors are less busy in summer, maybe they could mow the patch next to the bike path.
I live in the city because I like the sense of community. Now I know why people move to the suburbs.
Update 5/20/08: Lest anybody think this incident has permanently turned me into the bitter crank I was when I wrote this post, I've been mowing the city patch as often as I mow my own lawn (not often enough). I'm still fighting the snow removal fine, though.