Friday, January 25, 2013
Lately we've had a cold snap in the Philadelphia area, and yesterday it was so cold I actually saw a guy warming himself next to a Republican's heart. I asked my son Brandon what had happened to global warming.
"Dad," said Brandon, "climate change doesn't mean it's never gonna be cold."
"But I was banking on global warming to get me through a few more winters til I can retire someplace warm!"
"Someplace warm, Dad? You don't strike me as the Miami Beach type."
"No, I mean retire to Canada where I can get free health care. I'm really banking on global warming!'
Whether your local weatherperson calls it the Arctic Express, a Wintry Blast, or the Deep Freeze, temperatures hitting subterranean digits are Nature's way of telling us what a bunch of pansy asses we are compared to those who came before. Throughout history, people have lived through all kinds of weather in caves, tents, wigwams, igloos, and fecal-filled huts and hovels of every kind and description.
Today, we nudge the thermostat up to 75 degrees because dang it, "our feet are just so darn tingly!"
Go outside? Nah, what's the point? Get the newspaper on the curb? That's what the news babes on CNN are for! Run to Super Fresh? No, I've got a couple slices of kinda stale bread, half a can of Coke, and some peanut butter in the living room somewhere; I'm good!
Comes the time when you absolutely positively must go outside and it's time to dress in layers. Time to put your long johns, undershirt, turtleneck, sweater, second sweater, two pairs of thick socks, third sweater, additional pair of thick socks, hat and coat, and hat and coat, and woolen gloves your obsessive-compulsive aunt knitted you in the Sixties, and hat and coat.
Once you are finally finished wrapping and preparing yourself, you are at a loss to determine which of all of these layers about you represents your actual body. Why is itchy merino wool encasing my internal organs instead of skin? Why is there a zipper where my penis ought to be?
However, the careful preparation pays off handsomely. Once outside, it is so cold you can not only see your breath in front of your face, you can actually see it shivering! But you, my friend, are toasty warm during that arduous four and one-half second trot to the car and the turning on of the heat at full-blast.
Then you can begin removing the layers, one by one.
I guess maybe an occasional cold snap isn't such a bad thing. It puts us in touch with what our forebears once endured and how truly privileged we are. And maybe it also shows that global warming isn't quite as far along as we thought?
That would be great news for the planet, but not for me. I was all set for Montreal, but I don't have a single white belt for Miami Beach.