Men of a Certain Age and the Saddest Story in 4 words

I have just come back into the house after having spent time out in winter storm Jonas, shoveling the snow outside the back door for the dogs, and also to cutting a path to the chicken run to see if the hens are ok. They are, by the way, in fact so “ok” that one of them was in the nest box laying and was quite cross that I disturbed her!

So, I dry myself off, make a cup of tea and think about what I should write today. I post some pictures of the storm to facebook for friends and family to see and, as I procrastinate, I see that someone has posted a link to a challenge to write the saddest story you can in 4 words.

Quick as a flash the following phrase springs to mind:

“Man dies shoveling snow”

Whoa, there – not another bleedin’ subliminal message, thinks I. As a “man of a certain age,” what am I to make of that?

Well, a quick search of the wonderful wide web tells me that around 100 people in the US die from heart attacks in the winter while shoveling snow, although there are thoughts that the real figure may be more than double that. Although it’s mainly sedentary men who this affects, causing those of us who consider ourselves to be “fit” to think we’ll be alright, this is not always the case. Apparently plenty of younger, fitter guys (and their families) befall this unnecessary tragedy too, as the exertion of lifting snow, coupled with cold air which works to constrict arteries, creates “a perfect storm” for a heart attack.


So, to keep this message short and sweet I offer another 4 words and a sobering, but humorous image, that everyone should heed as Storm Jonas makes its way up the East Coast:


“Be careful out there”



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