"Do you have a pickaxe?" he asks.
"Um, no. But I have a mattock. It's like a pickaxe, but the blade part goes the other way."
"Ok, that'll do."
"What did Dombek do this time?" Dombek is another... co-worker isn't really the right word. Sanctimonious prick comes to mind. Linda calls him "Dumbfuck," and I don't correct her. Some of the customers have called him that, too. I haven't corrected them either.
Gordon laughs. "No, it's for the 8 inches of ice that's blocking my garage."
It's not what I'd envisioned. I envisioned snowplow cruft that had been pushed against the garage and solidified. No, it's the whole driveway bit in front of the condo. Eight inches of ice, a garage-door length wide, and about 15 feet long. With a half-hour of light left.
Why now? Apparently the beer ran out, and the food ran low, and the shovel that they mailordered never showed up.
We build a lovely wall - much easier than the one I built of stone in my back yard, though with less permanance - and cleared the driveway just as the last light faded. It was like being a Roman, but colder. Go to a far-off land, build a wall, eat pizza.
After the beer and pizza run, we talked of the Masons and the Templars and of the Discovery channel's recent push to discredit and dismiss any concepts of "secret society bent on world domination" and replace them with "just a bunch of good guys, trying to do good works for their communities and protecting us from the evil muslims."
And then Gordon ran across John Frum. John Frum Day occurs every February on the island of Tanna in the South Pacific. Apparently the ghost of an American GI (John, from America - aka John Frum) appeared to these people in the 1930s.
It urged them to rebel against the aggressive teachings of Christian missionaries and the influence of Vanuatu's British and French colonial masters.
The apparition told villagers to do all they could to retain their own traditions.
I suspect that the George Frum cargo cult would preach something very different.
BBC article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6370991.stm
More detailed Smithsonian article: http://www.smithsonianmagazine.com/issues/2006/february/john.php?page=1