January 27, 2010

Waiting for the snap to snap

Here in Minnesota, we refer to a stretch of ridiculously cold weather as a "cold snap." I've never liked this term, because it seems to indicate there's nothing too bad about cold weather; that it's easy; that it's a "snap."

In fact, cold weather is actually a bit of a bother, if I do say so myself. And I do. If we really must insist on calling a week of cold weather a "cold snap," at least mandate it also must carry the mental image of having your underwear snapped by someone who has icicles for fingers.

I have a lot of problems with cold weather, not the least of which being it can be deadly. Oh, sure, I realize excessively hot temperatures can also be deadly but, generally, if I had to choose between death by hot or cold weather, I'm pretty confident that hot weather would be the way to go. Not that I'm willing to find out either way, or anything. As preferred death options go, I still think David Carradine was probably on the right track.

At any rate, cold weather has a lot of other drawbacks besides simply being deadly, which is, nevertheless, a big strike against it.

For example, on any given morning featuring single or negative degrees, there's a good chance you'll see me -- barefoot, shirtless and with a toothbrush in my mouth -- running down the stairs, outside, to start my car to ensure it's warm and toasty 30 minutes later. Granted, I don't NEED to be barefoot and shirtless, but that's just my general condition in the morning when I realize I have to run down and start my car. And, believe me, when you're barefoot and shirtless in single digit or negative degree weather, you quickly harbor a deep disgust for cold weather in all its forms.

Also, cold weather can lead to awkward social situations. Yesterday, someone waved at me from across the street, but they were bundled from head to toe in winter garb, so I had no idea at whom I was waving. The person could just as easily have been the Pope, from what I could discern.

Eventually, I crossed the street and greeted the individual up close, and I STILL couldn't recognize who I was addressing. Finally, the person lifted their face mask to reveal it was actually a woman. Unfortunately, it was a woman I secretly don't like all that much and who, normally, I'd go out of my way to avoid. But, there I was, in a situation not unlike unwrapping a totally disappointing gift, only in this case I had to make uncomfortable small talk with the gift. The encounter was made all the more uncomfortable because, as I may have mentioned, it was so TERRIBLY COLD.

It's estimated human beings lose a majority of their body heat through their heads. I have no problem believing this. Speaking as a man who has been shaving his head for about 15 years now, I'd say almost all of my body heat is lost through my head. During cold weather, particularly during "cold snaps," I feel so much heat escaping from my head, I think of myself as the human equivalent of a lit match.

I normally remember to wear a hat, but during those rare times I forget, walking outside in the cold is the equivalent of running a cheese grater over my face and scalp. The cold can hurt so bad, I'll actually get mad at my head, which is about as productive an emotion as it sounds.

Now that we're almost in February, thankfully, I only have about a month left
of this year's "cold snap" to look forward to. I can almost envision
the wonderful days during which I can complain about a sunburned head
instead. I can barely wait.

Posted by Ryan at January 27, 2010 09:11 PM | TrackBack
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