Tip jar, labeled: Money is the root of all evil...cleanse yourself hereFor a few years I lived in a converted house, where my roommates and I understood the sidewalks were ours to shovel. (There was another apartment in the building, but it had a rapidly-rotating cast of tenants, and we never discussed it with them.)

One year the landlord’s son came by and offered to shovel. I think he even had a snowblower, or some other heavy-duty equipment that made it easier. Either way: great!

…and then he charged $20 for it. (Which was a genuinely hard expense to cover for the housemate who was present at the time.)

The good news is, we did some research afterward, and found out that the area had county-wide rules about landlords being responsible for clearing snow at their properties, period. The housemate got her $20 back, and the job was covered from then on.

I don’t remember if this whole story happened before or after this page was drawn. Shoveling snow is miserable, and having someone else do it without trying to pull one over you in the process, is great, is the point.

Timothy: Caught me. Though I’m trying not to be. Is there somethin’ wrong?

Sparrow: You seemed pretty interested when the name-off-the-Contract thing came up. Let’s talk.



It’s not about either of you two . . . but this is still a humans-only conversation.

So make yourself useful, got it? Bianca will be thrilled if you go shovel the sidewalks.


Patrick: Doesn’t your landlord hire people to do this?

Sparrow: In that case . . . the neighbors will be thrilled if you shovel their sidewalks.