Snow being in the forecast tonight reminds me of a couple of stories.
The last time we got a bunch of snow, I spent about an hour clearing the driveway. The next morning, I was taking my 3-year-old son out to the car. He looked at the snow, and then he asked, “Daddy, can a bulldozer clean the snow off the driveway?”
I thought for about half a second and said, “Yes it can.”
“Daddy, you need a bulldozer.”
Of course I’m not sure the rest of the neighborhood would agree. They’d probably like me having a bulldozer about five days out of the year, but the other 360 days, it would probably be an eyesore in my backyard. Plus something for my sons to climb on.
But one of my coworkers had an equally extreme method of dealing with snow. It has the advantage of not requiring one to store a hulk of machine somewhere, but has the disadvantage of being more dangerous.
He was living in Canada at the time. It had snowed that day, and his dad called him, saying he would be home in an hour, and the driveway had better be clear when he got there.
He didn’t want to shovel snow, so he went to the garage, found a gas can, brought it outside, and zigzagged down the driveway with it. He then lit a match and dropped it, just like the movies.
The gas burned off and made quick work of the snow in the process.
The problem was that the gas didn’t evaporate the water or send it into some netherworld. Instead, the flood of water rushed down into the street in front of the house, where it promptly re-froze.
His dad came home to a clear driveway to park in, but he had to navigate an ice skating rink in order to get to it.
This should go without saying, but I don’t recommend this method of driveway clearing. My high school chemistry teacher pointed out more than once that gasoline is just as explosive as dynamite. You don’t set off dynamite in your driveway, so you shouldn’t use gasoline to torch your driveway either.