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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA



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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Smile and Say, ‘Freeze!’

See, this is why I love New England.

Over the past couple of days, the weather has been quite reasonable — even temperate, for the time of year. Sure, we’re not cavorting around in swimming trunks and dancing the limbo in the streets, but for January at our approximate latitude, I don’t see how anyone could complain. I even saw a few parkas unzipped, and earmuffs cast aside in the relative heat wave.

And then there’s today. Today, it’s fricking cold. By anyone’s standards. Yesterday, no. Anyone complaining about yesterday’s temperature was likely an invalid or a Floridian. Possibly both. Today, it’s a whole new ice rink out there. You want to say it’s cold today, even the Eskimos wouldn’t give you shit. This is one of those ‘huddle in the whale blubber blankets and think of more words for snow’ kind of days. I’m talking cold.

“I damned near needed a space heater, a flashlight and a pair of tongs to go to the bathroom this morning.”

I ought to know. I was out in the elements a few times today, and not just in the cozy confines of my comfy car, either. That four-block trudge between my parking spot and the office isn’t all that far — until a spine-chilling wind freezes your privates to your pants, and you can’t feel your toes up to your ankles for the next hour. I don’t get chilly easily, but I can tell you this — a morning jaunt in subzero temperatures will shrivel you up like a dip in the pool shrinks a Costanza. I damned near needed a space heater, a flashlight and a pair of tongs to go to the bathroom this morning. I’m pretty sure I could have peed directly onto my own liver.

The joint is cold, is what I’m trying to tell you here.

And that’s just New England’s way of saying, ‘Nuh unh uh!‘ to all of us who thought that perhaps winter’s worst was already behind us. We’ve had our share of snow. There’ve been some freezy temperatures in the dark and dreary morns of some of our winter days. We even endured an ice storm.

(Though, to be fair, it missed the greater Boston area, for the most part. Must have been the heat from the Celtics’ hot start repelling the cold air and ice crystals at the time.

So where are those tall tanking bastards now, I ask you? If what it takes to spare us another New England ice age is a hardwood winning streak, how about a little help from the rest of the league? Collude with Golden State or Dallas or someone, for crissakes; it’s not like they need any extra heat out their way. Tell ’em the Red Sox will return the favor during baseball season, whiffing at their pitchers’ fastballs to create a nice cooling breeze come August.

Or we’ll send them air conditioners. Anything to get our mercury up into the double digits again.)

The best part is that we’re due for a steady dose of this frigid fooferall for another few days. My local forecast calls for highs of nineteen today, fifteen tomorrow, and a don’t-lick-any-flagpoles fourteen degrees Fahrenheit on Friday. Happy hour this week is for snowmen and polar bears; if you need me, I’ll be buried under a pile of electric blankets — with that flashlight and the tongs, just in case. You never know when tinkle time is going to break out. It’s best to be prepared.

Meanwhile, I may not be enjoying the cold snap, per se, but I do appreciate what Mother Nature is doing here. Just when we finished shoveling our asses back out of a foot of snowfall and craned our hopeful eyes to the heavens in search of brighter days, she whipped up a Sno-Cone full of wintry chills and crammed it down our throats. She’s a sassy broad, that Mother Nature. Likes to put us in our place from time to time. I like that.

So, we’ll just have to soldier on as best we can. Mittened and mukluked, we’ll go about our daily business — working, commuting, eating, pouring scalding hot coffee on our exposed flesh to stave off the frostbite. And we’ll do it happily, knowing that soon, sometime after this climatological curveball, then surely warm and sunny skies await us.

Right. My money’s on June. Of 2012. It’ll take at least that long for the damned glaciers to migrate out of my driveway. Hope I don’t lose those tongs before then.

Have I mentioned it’s freaking cold?

Permalink  |  7 Comments



7 Responses to “Smile and Say, ‘Freeze!’”

  1. Karen says:

    Gee, down here in South Texas, (admittedly the ass end of nowhere, 28% high school graduation stats and a white trash population larger than the number of roaches in the Dairy Queen, favorite restaurant of Texas) it got down into the low 40’s and everyone pulled out their parkas. Today’s high temp is only gonna be 60 degrees (!). I think we may need to turn the heat on in the house!

  2. HumorSmith says:

    Cold indeed. Biq question is have you seen any witches walking around clutching their chests and grimacing?

  3. marvelgoose says:

    Tongs? I thought you used tweezers and a magnifying glass.

    (no wonder cold air blows up your pants legs — you leave yourself w-i-d-e o-p-e-n)

    Anyway, wouldn’t your doofus stick to the metal on the tongs and require the police department?

  4. Kat says:

    Oh I couldn’t do that! Here in Texas, I’ve been enjoying my 60 something degree January so far – wouldn’t have it any other way ;).

  5. Charlie says:

    Karen and Kat: Oooh, you Texans and your temperate weather!

    If it weren’t for all those oil wells and cattle drives and Cowboy fans down there, I’d really envy you.

    HumorSmith: No witches, that I’ve seen. There is this one really unpleasant girl in human resources that I thought of asking if I could do a temperature comparison on, though.

    But I chickened out. Mostly because I was afraid my hand might freeze to her. Try explaining that at your next employee review.

    MarvelGoose: Hey!

    All right, I deserved that. And with the wind chill around here lately, might even resemble it.

    And I always use plastic tongs. Those metal numbers are way too abrasive when your hands are shivering.

    Shake it more than twice with those things, and it might just break off.

  6. Lidian says:

    We share your meteorological pain up here in Ontario.

    I enjoyed your Costanza reference, we use a lot of Seinfeld quotes as verbal shorthand at our house. Which is quite good fun.

  7. Charlie says:

    Lidian: Hope you can find a way to stay warm up in Ontario; I’m shivering a little just typing the word.

    And thanks so much for the comment; that’s the most spongeworthy thing I’ve read all day. Cheers!

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