Dear Austin’s Acre,
As winter approaches, I thought you might have some advice for keeping warm.
Signed, Chilly in Columbus.
Your timing is a little off. If you think winter is just approaching, we’re in a lot of trouble. In my professional meteorological opinion, winter is here! As you can see from this snapshot of my screen taken only moments ago, it is a little brisk here in Noblesville. Despite the extremely cold temperatures, I am more than happy to share my thoughts on this subject.
1. Attitude is Everything. For instance, if you look again at the current weather conditions, you will find some good news in the numbers. With the incredibly low temperature, we also find a very low humidity level. Currently, the humidity is only 33%. I don’t like humidity. It makes my hair curl. In my opinion, it is the first thing to ruin a beautiful summer day. As they say, “In Hell, it isn’t so much the heat that gets to you, it is the humidity.” Well, if that is true, we must be in heaven! Don’t look at it as a dangerously cold morning. Look at it as a fantastically low humidity!
2. Dress in Layers. I usually have several pairs of pants in my closet but right now I have them on me. All of them. Every one. I wear my shirts in successive layers. All of them. Socks are a must. As of this writing, I have 6 pair on my feet. I would have put on another pair but it was too hard to bend over because of all the pants. I usually don’t wear a hat in cold weather. It is a bad habit, I know, but it started when I was a boy. In the mornings before school, I would take a bath and leave my hair wet, go out into the subzero temperatures and let my hair freeze. It was really cool. Now I am a grown man and I don’t do that any longer. Now I take a shower, let my hair freeze and go to work.
3. Alcohol. Do not drink alcoholic beverages and go outside while it is extremely cold. This will cause the blood to rush to your extremities and will increase the amount of heat you lose through the capillaries close to the surface of your skin. You may feel that warm rush early in your drinking but this will result in a drop of your core body temperature. This, of course, will quickly result in the need to drink more and more alcohol just to keep that warm feeling. At today’s prices, you just can’t afford it. My advice is to say inside and drink.
4. Turn Up The Heat. The myth of global warming is debunked by the -17 degree morning. If there is global warming it must be happening on some other globe. So I say turn up the heat. I currently have my thermostat set at 82 wonderful degrees. Sure it might be a little warm for some but with a humidity of only 33%, it’s like paradise. The obvious question is how I will pay for this little tip when the bill comes. Move on to step #5.
5. Go to the Neighbors. I find that I can save a lot of money by turning down my heat to a ridiculous 55 degrees and go to my neighbors for the evening. Of course, while I’m there in my layers of clothes, with my frozen hair, and my bottle of Boone’s Farm Apple Blossom, they feel some obligation to make me some hot coffee. While they are out of the room, I waddle over to their thermostat and adjust it by increments of 10 degrees. One hour and three thermostat adjustments later everyone in the room will be drinkin’ from my bottle and enjoying the tropical warmth.
So, Chilly, these are just a few of the steps I take to keep warm on a cold winter morning. I hope they work for you.
P.S. For some added winter fun, bring a mug of water up to boil in the microwave. Take the boiling water to your door, open it and throw the water into the air. It will explode into a cloud of vapor. It’s almost better than frozen hair.