I really just need to let go of all my inhibitions about clearing the snow. Really, it's my lazy neighbours who are the insane ones. I'm perfectly sane, standing outside at 8:30 in the morning, just when everyone is going off to work, slicing off the ice stuck to the sidewalk with a metal shovel that makes a sharp clanging sound everytime it hits. Why do I feel self-conscious about wanting to ensure that all the ice is cleared right up to the dirt square where the tree is planted? If I had my way, I'd go much farther up and down the block. Hell, I'd carry my shovel with me to work and randomly clear parts of the sidewalk that need it. There is one spot, where a fire hydrant narrows the sidewalk, so that it never gets cleared by the plow. It can become quite a dangerous little hill, especially when it is icy. Even after a good melting day, there is still a bulwark of ice on either side, narrowing it down to single file only. If not many people are around, I'll try to kick some of it free with my boot. Even doing that makes me feel like they'll come by with the van and the straightjacket any moment. If I had a shovel, I could clear it right out in 10 minutes, but I just feel too self-conscious to be cleaning sidewalks that are nowhere near my property. Maybe I should steal a municipal employee safety vest and just throw that on, pretend I'm a col bleu and carry my shovel with freedom and pride (well not too much pride or everybody would know I'm not really a col bleu).
The other thing is if you are out on your sidewalk whaling away with a rusted metal shovel looking like a crazy man, dog-walkers will almost for sure pick up after their dogs if they happen to lay a turd within your field of vision.