Snow shoveling story omitted "Wovel"
Hell has frozen over, the cows have come home and Baltimore has had its first snowfall deeper than 5 inches since Feb. 11-12, 2006.
And happily, the story I wrote in December 2007 - about the physiology and hazards of snow shoveling - has finally run, albeit in a much shortened version from the original. It had been held since December 2007 - possibly a new record - in anticipation of the next snowfall deep enough to shovel. That snow - all 5.8 inches of it - finally arrived yesterday.
But as relieved as I am to see the piece in print, I mourn the loss of the last few paragraphs, which once included discussion of improved snow shovel designs, including one of the coolest snow-fighting gizmos I have encountered in a long time: The Wovel. Those paragraphs were lopped off by an editor some weeks ago as we were preparing the story to run in anticipation of another storm. The hole available in the next day's paper simply wasn't big enough to take the whole story as written.
In the end, the storm fizzled, and the story went back into storage, minus the Wovel. And that's the version that ran online Monday, and (even shorter) in the print editions today.
What's a Wovel? First, let me state that I have no financial interest in this thing. I do not own one; I have never used one, and I have spoken with the inventor and owner only once - in December 2007. Can't even remember his name.
But speaking as a science writer, a weather buff, chief shoveler in our household, and a lover of anything that reduces my physical exertions and risks of dropping dead in a snowbank, I think this thing is too cool for school.