Terry O'Shaughnessy


Do you brush?

The world is divided into two groups of people: those who brush the snow off their cars before heading onto a main thoroughfare and those who do not. And then there’s the third group: those who end up driving blind in the snowy back-storm of those who don’t brush.

Hudson’s Cameron Rd. is a good place to study this phenomenon.

Because there’s something about the pitch of the hill beneath Cameron that can slide the top-snow off a car roof in no time. Which is a good thing if it’s your car. But what if you happen to be the car behind?

After every snowstorm this past month the non-brushers have gingerly appeared from their side streets looking like giant cakes on wheels with extra icing.

The minute they start to accelerate up Cameron, they create a mini snowstorm for the cars behind, which is fine if you’re also a non-brusher and have no worries about driving in the dark. But if you’re a brusher-offer, you can’t help resenting what happens next.

First, the light dusty snow comes off the top. Then the bigger stuff starts flying off and you need to get your windshield wipers going. And then you brace for the first chunk of ice that ricochets off the car, hoping that it won’t come flinging through your windshield.

Now, in case you think this is a rant, keep reading.

The reason I know so much about this is because I have been a non-brusher-offer. Or more precisely, a not-enough-brusher-offer. Not from lack of effort or empathy. In fact, there are two scraper/brushers in my car — the short red one and the longer silver one with the blue bristles.

But try as I may, I am an Off Islander. And you know what that means: an SUV or a van sits in my driveway. And here’s more detail: at 5’ 3”, I’m a pretty short Off Islander. So when it comes to brushing a gigantic snow storm off my Rav 4, there is only so much I can do.

I’m sorry, fellow drivers, I simply can’t get it all off, even with a broom. So I am one of those drivers you curse as you climb Cameron after a storm.

But both of us will surely agree on one point: that burgundy sedan that is never brushed off. You know exactly the one I mean. In fact, maybe you know exactly who you are.

Just last week I drove behind you as you made your perilous way up from Main Rd. with not even a courtesy brush of your back window.

From all of us buried beneath your considerable back-storm, please consider this a formal request to clean it off next time.


  1. Where is the SQ handing out tickets? I’m a short person also and what I do is open my driver’s door and stand on the floor board to reach all the way to the other side of your SUV. Then repeat by opening your rear door and performing the same function. If you have no rear door, then stand on the rear tire and brush off the snow. Simple and effective. But only if your a courteous driver. What a rarity!!

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