Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Fun: The Traveling Ice Scraper

Anyone who has lived where frost routinely covers windshields quickly invests in a sturdy ice scraper.

When I lived in Atlanta during the 1990s, I purchased a plastic scraper that had a blue handle and a thick clear blade. There's something reassuring about having the right tool for the job.

🌝 The story begins when I moved from Atlanta to Key West in 2002...

In Key West, I found a a 3rd floor unit in a condo near the airport. Life was good. The lease specifically warned that the unit did not have a heating system. My car stayed in the parking lot, and car tools in the trunk.

In 2003 I moved to the Tampa Bay area. I purchased a townhouse in Clearwater that had a 3-car garage. After getting settled in, I finally cleaned the car trunk. I discovered that I still had the ice scraper from Atlanta. Living in central Florida and having a garage, I believed I still wouldn't need it. I kept the ice scraper, out of habit.

That evening M'Lady and I went to dinner in downtown Safety Harbor, a small town near the townhouse. I was still amused at my find, and I carried my ice scraper into the restaurant with us.

We sat near the front. The server, and a young server-in-training, came to our table. The server-in-training appeared to be a teenager, maybe 16 years old.

I held up my ice scraper and, grinning, asked the server "Do you know what this is?"

She looked at me with her head slightly tilted and and I could see the question marks in her eyes.

"This is why we live in Florida!" A split-second later she grinned, then laughed with us! She had moved here from Pennsylvania and absolutely recognized it... and she agreed with the sentiment.

She took our order, and disappeared into the kitchen with the teenage server-in-training.

She was smiling when she returned alone with our wine.

She chuckled and she told this story, "When we got back in the kitchen, (the teenage server-in-training) tugged on my sleeve. When she had my attention, she asked, in a loud whisper,  'What was that?'"

But wait! The story continues...

A few weeks later I had driven to Miami on a business. Yes, I was in the car with the ice scraper. I told that story at lunch to the people sitting at the table. They found it funny, and guffawed that it sounded a bit far-fetched.

We went to dinner together at the end of the day. We found a Mexican restaurant that was set back from the curb. The sidewalk was at least 20 feet long between the curb and the front door.

I couldn't resist. I grabbed the ice scraper from the car. We met two ladies coming out of the restaurant. I help up the ice scraper, and with what I hoped was a disarming smile,  I asked,
"Do you know what this is?"

They didn't say a word. They tried to make themselves small and moved to the far side of the sidewalk. They watched us very carefully until they were a "safe" distance away.

The manager was standing at the head of the sidewalk, and he was grinning as we approached. I told him the story of the server-in-training in Safety Harbor. He had recognized the scraper because he was from Michigan, and agreed that it was funny.

But wait! These still one more innocent...

A few feet behind the manager, the young hostess had been quietly listening to us. As we came into the restaurant, she peered over the podium and asked,

"You scrape something with that, right?!"

It was a good guess, but she was obviously a life-long Miami resident that hadn't traveled outside the state.

14 years later ice scraper is still in my car. Unused.  😎 But it's a good reminder why I live here!

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