Bomb cyclone — help!

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 10:45am

Any young dogs want to shovel old man Houlihan’s cars out and make some scoots? A blown shoulder just shut me down, and Cindy’s bull goring injury has slowed her down a little. Otherwise, we’d be on this… If interested, PM me, stat!

I posted this note on Facebook on Jan. 3 and got a few likes, and some replies by my geezer pals, who posted things like “We never see kids out shoveling to make some money like we did when we were kids.” And I replied with some full-on snark, “Yeah, they’re at home playing a video game about a snow shoveling competition.” (I know, I’m a baby boomer geezer who was harrumphing because when I was a kid, I walked to school and shoveled snow with numb feet, and blue lips — yada, yada, yada.)  However, I was on a mission to get the cars squared away and get ahead of this “bomb cyclone,” so I figured I’d put it out there on Facebook. Why not, right? About 10 minutes went by, and then a friend — Meredith McAloon-Barber from Narragansett and Block Island — sent me a note. She referenced some guys from a company named Rent Sons, and said they “were local, and heard they were good.” Meredith’s nod to these guys got me hitting up their website, and then, bang, I got a guy on the cell. 

This “bomb cyclone” was not looking good on radar, and the weather models all pointed to a jacked-up nor’easter. The word around the ferry docks was that we wouldn’t be running on the fourth and maybe the fifth. I talked with Ben Johnson from the freight department about coming over and shoveling us out, and I’d grease him with substantial scoots. Ben said he’d cover me. The next morning, I went to get gas at Westlake’s to go tearing around Point Judith — which was a bad idea. The snow was totaling up on the quick, and Point Judith Road had white out conditions. By noon, the driving was dangerous, and it became apparent that this storm was going to dump on us and Ben wouldn’t be able to shovel us out; his car would be buried, too. Adding to this, my Jeep and my truck each had a tire with leaks — the Jeep had lost 12 pounds in one day. I did not want a snowed-in rig with a flat tire. Plus, the bride had to get to the wound center at the hospital because of her travails in India. I had to have a plan.

One of the downsides of getting on in years is that our joints start to wear out, get inflamed, and hurt. Subsequently, we need to monitor our movement. Me and my wife are raging baby boomers who push ourselves in our hobbies, but must ratchet back our enthusiasm — our heads tell us one thing, and our bodies tell us another. The night of the storm, I was out shoveling a path to the cars; just getting a jump on things while the snow was light and fluffy and not heart attack snow. Cindy came out with the dogs, and looked things over, “It doesn’t look that bad, maybe we can…” I turned my wife around and aimed her back to the front door, and said, “Go in the house, and do not even think of picking up a shovel.” The woman nearly got killed by a bull in India — is slowly healing — and she still was entertaining the possibility of us shoveling the snow. (What do you do with a woman like this?)

I hit up the number from the Rent Sons website, and got a very polite and articulate guy on the phone. His name was Courtney. He explained what he could do for me, and I was excited to now have a plan. Courtney said he could have a guy at the house at 10 a.m. on Thursday. I was very impressed about how this guy comported himself over the phone. The next day — the guy was early — the driveway and cars were cleared in two hours. The guy hustled. I got the Jeep out and barely made it to a compressor at the gas station. I would square up with the company after the job was completed; however, I flipped the guy who did the work some extra scoots. This guy is a student from URI, and had a savage work ethic. Later, Cindy went off to the hospital, and I went driving around the Point to see the ocean. Win win!

There are 79 million baby boomers who are geezing forward into a future of bad knees, backs, wrists, and shoulders, and they need stuff done around the house that they can’t necessarily do themselves. Rent Sons is a company founded by a couple of guys who saw this as an opportunity. The name is clever. The name suggests that we can rent a person who will do the work around the house that our own sons, or daughters, don’t want to do. Or, they would like to do, but they can’t because of their own life commitments. It’s a brilliant business model. If we need yard work done, painting, or any other project that requires some extra hands or heavy lifting — like shoveling snow — we can call these guys, and they will manage the labor. The guys who started this company know that it’s imperative to have good, motivated and hardworking young adults to represent their brand and vision. They sold me.