I know this post is late, but I have been shoveling…

A few years back, a friend sent me a Facebook post about a friendly elf named Clyde. We had a little fun writing back and forth about the foul-mouthed little bastard. I had kind of forgotten about the exchange for a little while. Then back in November Buffalo got hit with a literal wall of frozen death. I got stuck in the house for a bit and wrote a little piece about a rescue mission for Clyde… I don’t know exactly why I didn’t post this back in November but it might have been the virtual life and death struggle against eightish feet of snow that we were dealing with at the time. There other reason is probably that I have a genetic disposition towards the avoidance deadlines, so here it is seven months later…

 

 

Tsnownami, If you squint just right you can see my house just off to the left under approximately six feet of snow.
Photo by Mark Branden

So, I was out shoveling off the back porch… seriously, that’s a thing in Western New York.

Anyway, I am shovelling off the seven feet of snow (ed note: not an exaggeration) and I found an explorer’s pack buried in a mound. The wind was blowing snow so hard it caused my eyes to freeze… also a thing now, hipsters. Curious, I decided it might be a good time to bring the pack into the house and check it out. There wasn’t a ton of stuff in it, some old, pitted miner’s pick and a few crumbs. Whoever it belonged to was obviously down on his luck. Looking through  the frozen pockets I noticed a small journal with an inscription on the inside cover that said Y Cornelius. The handwriting in it is shaky but legible with a little bit of effort and time. Honestly, I have six feet of snow in the driveway with more coming. What the hell else do I have but time?

Here are the entries I have been able to parse out so far…

Day One- Why is it that every time someone decides to go south for the winter I get the suicidal task of attempting to retrieve them? Seriously, I am starting to get a complex – it’s like the jolly old man wants to get rid of me. Anywho, the old man said it’s important – he really wants this elf back, in one piece this time. Something about making an example for the rest of the little pricks.

Day Two- Supplies are running low. The bumble is being an asshole. Dude, try using a toothbrush once in a while, it is not my fault you have narwhal breath.

Day Three-  We are running out of long underwear… things are getting grim. On the way out the door the big guy said “Be careful, Buffalo gets a little more snow than  we do.” But how was I supposed to take that seriously?? Total white out conditions, I lost the bumble a while back but it’s senseless to go back for him. In this wind the dogs will never pick up his scent.

Day Four- This is getting ridiculous. Lost the dogs… lost the bumble, although I still can’t get rid of the smell of his wet fur… what is that all about? Look, I know this nasty little Clyde did some ugly things but how far do I have to go risking my ass to get this prick? I found his last known location but I ain’t going back in that place… ever. Its like ‘Lord of the Flies’ meets some kind of demonic concoction of Cats the musical and the Walking Dead in that House. Those people are pissed, and hungry… and more than a little punch drunk I think… but there are more than a few empty whiskey bottles so they may be just plain old drunk. I don’t know. Maybe I’m hallucinating at this point. The big guy definitely said that little bastard elf would be at these coordinates, but how can you be sure with this much friggin snow? It comes down in buckets here.

Day Five- Not sure how much longer I can hold on out here… supplies are gone… bumble is gone… hiding out on the back porch but the friggin dog keeps coming out here. The damn thing must have a bladder the size of Dick Cheney’s heart. The dog comes out here at all hours of the day and night, I can never get any rest around here… y’know what, forget the elf, forget the big guy… eff all o’ y’all – I’m headed somewhere safe and warm, Cleveland maybe…

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