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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!


#72. I would much rather be too cold than too hot.

This is in stark contrast to my wife’s preference. Sometimes I think she’d rather stand on the surface of the sun than endure temperatures lower than seventy degrees.

(Okay, okay, that’s not fair. Let’s say ‘surface of Mercury’ and ‘sixty’. Yeah, that’s about right.)

But I have to admit, I don’t understand my wife, nor people like her.

(Well, okay, to be fair once again, she’s a woman, which I’m not equipped to understand in the first place, since I:

A. have a penis, last time I checked (though she may have taken custody of other various dangly bits of mine)

2. don’t seem to have those ‘feelings’ or ’emotions’ thingies that crop up in all the movies on Lifetime and Oxygen

Okay, so maybe I have some feelings, deep down somewhere. Just not the ones in those movies. Where do they grow those people, anyway?)

Anyway, where was I? Oh, right, hot and cold.

So, I really don’t get people like my wife, who’d rather be too hot. Just think about it. If you’re too cold, you can always do something about it. If you’re naked, put on some damned underpants. If you’re in your undies, throw on a shirt, and maybe some shorts. Still cold? Grab some jeans or sweatpants, and then a rugby, and a jacket, and shoes, and a coat, and boots, and a parka, and mukluks, and on and on and on until you finally get warm enough. Easy, right? There’s a sliding scale of warmthhood, so you start near the bottom, and work your way up until you’re comfortable. And if the clothes don’t do it for you, there are always sheets and blankets and covers and dead animal skins to pull over your shivering body until you’re nice and toasty. Seems obvious enough to me.

But no. The other view is that cold is bad somehow, and should be avoided at all costs. At the first mere hint of a shiver, the windows slam shut and the sweaters come out, and the entire surrounding area is promptly saunafied. Which is fine, I suppose, if you’re a friggin’ Eskimo. I expect these people to want to be warm, though they’re probably on my side, since they’re used to it by now. But my wife grew up in Kentucky. Kentucky! Why the hell should they have an irrational fear of goosebumps? Was there a vicious cold snap in ’79 that I don’t know about? Was she locked in a freezer as a child? What the hell happened?

See, the way I look at it, my way makes more sense. First of all, it’s ‘just in time’ adjustment, which is all the rage in the programming field these days. So that’s cool. But also, my way leaves limitless possibilities — there’s always something else you can cover yourself with, or some other warm thing you can snuggle next to or blow toward yourself or wrap up in. There’s a near-infinite series of warming options, and you’re guaranteed to warm up before you hit the end of the line.

But how about the hot-to-cold route? What if you get yourself all sweaty and sticky, and then decide you’re too hot? What then? See, there’s a very limited set of ways you can help yourself. If you’re in public, you’re obligated to leave a couple of layers of clothes on, at least around all the important (and therefore sweatiest, stickiest, and most in need of being cooled) bits. Sure, you can turn on a fan, or even an air conditioner, if you’re lucky enough to have one, but short of that, you’re pretty much stuck.

And being in private’s not much better. Yeah, you can get naked and plop your butt on a shelf in the freezer, but if it’s really hot outside, that’s not gonna get it done. The ass-in-the-freezer trick is effective up to about at heat index of ninety, maybe ninety-five. After that, you’re barely gonna feel it. (Until you try to stand up and find that your ass is now stuck to the shelf, of course. Oh, you’re gonna feel that, let me tell you. Especially you hairy folks out there. Believe it.)

So, after that, you’re pretty much out of options. Especially if you’re like me, in a house with no air conditioning and just a few piddly window fans. (And a fairly hairy ass, if you must know. Though not as hairy, or as, um, skinny, if you know what I’m sayin’, as it used to be. It was a hot summer here, folks. Hot and painful.) And so, I submit that ‘coolth’ is the way to go (as opposed to ‘warmth’, of course. Why can’t ‘cool’ have its own weird word?)

Of course, there’s no convincing my wife. She just hates to be cold. What are you gonna do? I try to convince her, and talk reason to her, but nothing’s worked so far. And I’m sure she’s getting tired of coming home and bandaging up my now-balding butt cheeks. But it’s the only way I can survive in this heat. Fall simply can’t come fast enough for me. Or my roasting rump. But a word to the wise — if you come to our house, and we offer you a drink, don’t ask for ice. Really. You don’t wanna know where the ice trays have been, and some of the cubes are still pretty hairy. Just so you know.

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