Welcome, everybody, to 2014!
And put on a hat. And some gloves. And a scarf. And maybe drape a woolly mammoth or something over your shoulders.
This week was cold. I don’t mean cold like, “Oh, man. I better go start up my car and get the heat running for a minute.” No, no, no. I mean, “My eyelids have frozen to the top of my eyes and now I look like Marty Feldman after 12 cups of coffee.”
For our younger readers, go Google “Marty Feldman” and click “Images.” You will laugh, I promise. Then go watch “Young Frankenstein.” Again, I promise a laugh or two while you watch that.
It’s been freezing. I saw our resident Eskimo Shaun Lambert standing outside the other day and I could swear I witnessed him actually rub his hands together for warmth for a split second.
Now, to be fair, he might have just been contemplating his beloved Seattle Seahawks’ chances at winning a Super Bowl this year and rubbing his hands together in feverish greed, but I’m pretty sure it was for warmth. Besides, the Baltimore Ravens didn’t make the playoffs this year, so his team winning a Super Bowl should have to come with an asterisk anyway since they didn’t have to knock off the defending champs to earn their way to ...
But I digress.
Like most of you, I have a little routine I go through every morning before I head out to work. I read my emails, scan through a few newspapers and check on that day’s weather before I do anything else. I woke up Tuesday morning, mentally-prepared to face a deadline day, and opened my weather app on my phone.
That was the current temperature. For starters, that’s not a temperature for decent people like us. It’s a shoe size. That already gave me “bitter beer” face. Then I saw the smaller type next to that “9” that jumped off the screen. It read, “Feels like -10.”
When you start seeing temperatures like this, the actual numbers don’t even really matter anymore, do they? At this point, they should give you a little more narrative. Something like, I don’t know, “The current temperature is cold. And when we say cold, we mean stay-inside-if-you-value-your-life-because-every-step-you-take-outside-automatically-deducts-10-years-off-your-life-cold.”
This is the kind of weather the utility company employees hate because everybody is pumping heat every second of the day and every heater that goes down becomes an immediate emergency. But it’s also the kind of weather that the shareholders in utility companies love because it makes sure they will be spending part of a very cold winter sipping drinks out of coconuts in Barbados while many of us are rolling pennies or selling blood to pay the bills.
Maybe I’ve just been spoiled spending so many of my winters here. Oh, we’ve had some rotten snowstorms and nor’easters from time to time, but winter is typically pretty mild, and rarely is cold enough to prevent me from doing something outside if I really feel like doing it. But Tuesday and Wednesday were different.
I was not going to run outside in a hat and jacket to grill a steak or take the dogs out for a brisk walk before going to sleep for the night, like I normally can still do in the winter. I was not going to go jump in the car and hit the grocery store to fulfill a cookie emergency going down in my living room. And I was not going to go outside to check on the little green men that just walked out of that funny little aircraft that landed behind the house. I’m sure their spacecraft has heat. They’ll be fine.
On the other hand, the cold snap we had did help me appreciate a few things a little more, such as curling up under a blanket and watching a movie or nursing a cup of hot chocolate. It was nice having the dogs nestle up against me for warmth, and simply enjoying the coziness of home for a few days without feeling guilty for not going out and doing something.
All things being equal, though, I’ll take a little warmer weather. And the Ravens being in the playoffs.