For others, it calls out the demons. The deep-seated anger boils to a fever pitch hot enough to melt an iceberg. Rage hijacks the senses. Ghosts of white Christmases past encircle you, threatening unthinkable torture. And the crazy hibernating deep within the hollow of the soul creeps out and rears its ugly, middle-aged head. At least this is what it does to Gary.
Gary, as you can see in the video, is the curmudgeon in the dayglow puffer screaming like a madman at his neighbor Dan Barker for blowing snow on his property. And old man Gary sure has a mouth on him. Goodness gracious. Saltier than a bunion on the heel of a sailor's peg leg, that Gary is.
Barker videotapes his altercation with the aggravated Gary, which occurred after Gary accused him of blowing snow onto his freshly plowed lawn. But this isn't just some civil dispute: Gary is livid that Barker is so ballsy that he thought he could just dump his extra snow on his yard. In the heat of the moment, he probably says things and acts in ways that make him seem like a nutter. And I'm not saying he's not.
This kid feels Gary's pain Joshua Lott / Getty Images News
But once you get past the "lunatic," "asshole," and "psychopath" talk, you start to realize that Gary, hotheaded as he is, actually has a pretty good point. His defense kind of gets lost in all the anger and bloodlust that spills from lips, but there are definitely moments of clarity. Like when he shouts, "You don't put any snow that was where you were on my property." We might not want to agree with a raving madman, but in instances like this one you kind of have to. For a few reasons.
First of all, this Barker fella sure sounds like a schmuck. He goads Gary to fury, like when he touches his trashcans just to tick the guy off more. He takes a perverse pleasure in watching his neighbor lose his cool. And his sarcastic tone and cocky self-confidence make him out to be a real class act. Let's flip the camera around and catch this guy acting the fool.
Secondly, Gary has a point! OK, it doesn't matter where the snow falls when it first bursts out of the clouds "“ that's up to God, Mother Nature, Maya, Al Roker, or whoever you happen to believe has dominion over the weather. It matters how that snow is disposed over. Imagine if the municipal snowplows, instead of depositing the white stuff at some central location, just shoveled it onto your front yard: you'd be rightfully pissed off.
It's like leaves. If you pick up all the leaves that fell from the trees that hang over your yard, and then dumped them onto your neighbor's, well, you're being an inconsiderate jerk. And you're also probably breaking the No Dumping laws. Just burn them or compost them or collage them, or something.
The comments on the YouTube page come to Gary's defense. One by Potskie420 (I wonder how that person chose that moniker…) notes that when piles of snow melt, they can cause water damage, and nobody wants that.
Greg Cantelli offers his personal into the matter:
This guy [Barker] is an ******* for removing snow from his property onto someone elses [sic]. Apparently you don't live up north like me along the great lakes. I have no place to put the snow anymore after the past three weeks. So in order to keep my driveway open from my car you think it would be okay for me to put it in my neighbors[sic] driveway.
Obviously, the answer implied by Cantelli's question is a no. Does it suck if your house happens to get snowed in, or rained on, or hit by lightning or something? Yeah, it sucks. But that suckiness comes with the territory, literally.
Always practice safe blowing Scott Olson / Getty Images News
You own property, you are responsible for maintaining that property. That means if your tree, by some act of Yahweh, falls onto your neighbor's land, it's your problem, buster. Clean it up, and maybe bake them a pie. Whatever neighbors do to each other besides engage in blood feuds and Tupperware parties. But you make amends and you move on. You might need to sleep in their underground bunker one day, you never know.
Thirdly, why tape it? Honestly. You're not going to win some indie film award for best short documentary captured by a shaky smartphone. You might get a lot of likes, but you're out to publicly humiliate somebody. Who does that? You come across as some exploitative jerkwad with too much time on his hands and a need to overcompensate for some insecurity. Do you actually need proof that Gary might have gone off the deep end?
And, boy, does he go off that deep end. I mean, listen: Gary shouldn't have handled the situation the way he did. Maybe an inside voice would have served him better. Explosive screaming and name-calling is no way to go about resolving an argument.
But neither is mocking a guy's distress. Barker, if you think you're some hot shot for publicizing your petty interaction with an outraged, foul-mouthed, cussing kook of a neighbor, you're not. You're a troll, disguising your ignorance of civic duty and inability to resolve conflict like an adult with adolescent mudslinging. Maybe you should have spent the time it took to make the video more wisely: like finding somewhere else to dump your snow.