No, I don’t hoard ammunition or stockpile canned goods and bottled water. The government isn’t conspiring against me, either. Winter is, it’s trying to kill me. So, in a desperate attempt to protect myself, I amass clothing: woolens, down, fleece, flannel, GoreTex, anything insulated or thermal or heated. I’d say I look ridiculous, but I don’t even look human. I look like a barrel on stilts.
Being outside in these conditions is a direct violation of the Geneva Convention, of Amnesty International, the Humane Society, and plain old common sense. When I stepped out this morning the bitter cold assaulted my face — the only skin exposed to the elements — with the force of an open-handed slap. It stung, I mean it. Within seconds my nose was running and my eyes were teary from the arctic breeze.
I jumped in the car to warm it up and learned a quick, but very painful, life lesson: Do not sit on leather seats in subzero temperatures. You’ll be sorry. No matter how many layers of clothes you’re wearing the cold will penetrate. Happily, the car started and I bolted back indoors while it stayed running. You see, cold triggers my urge to pee and I’ll be whizzing ice cubes for a week.
Right now, at this actual moment, there’s a wind chill of -11 and an air temperature of 3º. Tomorrow will be a balmy 21. You know, forget this. I’m not going back outside until July. I don’t care what the damn groundhog sees or doesn’t see. If he’s smart, he’ll stay in his hole and play dead. Like me.