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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Frozen..... Coming to a Household Near You (#23)

     Is it just me, or does cold really suck? I live in the northeastern U.S., and the temperature this morning was hovering around fifteen degrees, with a wind chill close to zero. I took my dog, Chase for a long walk, and I swear, when I got home, my head was frozen solid. Maybe I'm exaggerating a little...... But it was close. After I gave the penguins who had followed me to my front door, warm blankets, and some steaming mugs of hot chocolate, I wrapped my head in a heating pad.
     Right now, my house feels like I'm in that Disney movie, Frozen. It’s been worse since I installed one of those programmable thermostats to save money. It has six basic settings. They include: 72 degrees, 68 degrees, a little chilly in here, brrrrrrrr, I think I have frostbite, and my favorite; off.  The good news is, if I ever have a heart attack, I might just survive. When the paramedics arrive, I'll be frozen solid, they won't need a stretcher to haul me to the ambulance, and I can be thawed out at the hospital, and hopefully revived.

     Looking out my window, I can see an oil delivery truck circling the neighborhood. It's passed my house at least four times. I'm reminded of a vulture circling a dead or dying animal. Eventually, I'll have to flag him down to fill my tank, which is about a hair above empty. It's so cold in my house, I think my cat, Harper may be frozen to his scratching post, and my dog is wearing one of my sweaters, and doing a pretty good job of getting a pot of coffee started.
"Hey Chase. The filters are in the left cabinet, second shelf on the right."
     Where does cold come from anyway? I don't think even meteorologists are sure. Last night as I huddled under a large pile of blankets, I watched a weather report. It said, a huge blast of arctic cold was being carried south into the United States via an enormous Canadian air mass. Ah, Ha! It's the Canadians who are the cause of my frigid existence. Since I love Canada and our good neighbors to the north, I'm going to make a heart-felt request on behalf of all us Americans, who are huddled like animals in our homes.
"Hey, Canadian people. Could you please stop any of your cold from crossing the U.S. border? Thank you very much."
     Frankly, I don't even know why the Canadians send their cold down here. I heard they love it. Someone once told me that at Canadian baby showers, instead of bibs and pink or blue outfits, the mothers receive tiny parkas with matching snow-shoes? I was once in Canada when it was 20 degrees below zero, and people were strolling the streets like it was a day at the beach. I met an old shop keeper who looked like his face had been frozen, thawed-out and refrozen a thousand times. He told me,
"This is nothing. In the winter of 63, it was so cold, the boogers in our noses froze solid, and the air was too cold to breathe through our mouths." I asked, "How did you survive?" He matter-of-factly said,
"We held our breath for two months until it warmed up."
     I think he was pulling my leg, but I guess the Canadians do handle the cold a little better than us Americans. Except for those hardy folk in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Maine, most of us hate cold. A couple of years ago, I was in Times Square, in New York City, when the temperature was 20 degrees. People were scurrying around like rats leaving a sinking ship as they frantically searched for the nearest Starbucks.
     I better get going. My wife just got home from work, complained about the cold, turned the thermostat up to a balmy 68 degrees, and handed me a magazine article. She knows how much I hate cold, and I think she’s messing with me. The articles about cryogenics. It says, if you die of some incurable disease, you can be frozen, and subsequently thawed sometime in the future when medical science has advanced enough to provide a cure. I keep telling her that stupid isn't a disease, but she won’t listen.
     It says, cryogenic labs will even freeze, just your head! It sounds pretty cool, but it also says, the body part is frozen to an internal temperature of negative 202 degrees Fahrenheit. Wow, that's cold! I'm confused about something, though. If heads will freeze at a temperature just below thirty-two degrees, why do they need to go so low? I think I'll call the laboratory, and see if I can go with a temperature not as cold. Twenty-eight degrees isn’t too bad. I can always wear a parka.

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