The Snow Shovel

By Ronald Larsen

“What’cha gonna do with yourself when you retire, Michael?”

“I’m heading south. No more miserable Chicago winters for this ex-ad exec, soon to be permanent snowbird.”

“Yeah? Where you gonna go?”

“I dunno.  I thought I’d tie a show shovel to the front of the van and head south. When somebody asks ‘What’s that?’ I’ll spend the winter there.”

On his last day of work at the end of September, the agency gave Michael a retirement party. He was presented with a snow shovel with a pink bow. Shoveling Sunshine had been printed on the handle by the art department.

“You’ve been shoveling PR bullshit for years, now it’s time to shovel some sunshine,” Charlie said.

“That’s great, but I’ll never use it in Florida. It’ll make a good mantel ornament though.”

Michael’s coworkers trooped out and ceremoniously  tied the shovel to the front of his van.

“Looks kind of dumb,” Michael said, “but I like it.”

His coworkers waved and cheered as he headed out. “Retirement, no worries. Mexico Beach here I come.”

Michael arrived the last day of September. Hurricane Michael arrived the first week in October. The ornamental shovel came in handy for shoveling 3 inches of mud out of his new condo.


Ronald Larsen is a retired electrical engineer who went over to the dark side (Marketing) and spent 50+ years writing marketing literature. His fiction has been published in Fewer Than 500, Bewildering Stories, Every Day Fiction, Flash Fiction Magazine, Metaphorosis, 101 Word Stories and numerous engineering magazines.


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