Friday, September 19, 2008
The Plight of the Dramatically Cold
There's a strange phenomenon that strikes New York City every September.
Dramatically cold people.
You know the type. It drops down to a brisk 60 degrees overnight, and the next morning the dramatically cold people have on their fur-lined boots and wool sweaters. "Brrrrrr!" say the dramatically cold people when they step outside and feel the nip of 40% humidity in the air. "I think I'll get myself a hot chocolate."
"Thank god for my space heater," the dramatically cold people say when they sit down to their work computers, furiously rubbing their hands together. Later in the afternoon, they are always sure to pop a few vitamin-C tablets. The dramatically cold people can never be too careful several weeks in advance of cold and flu season.
To get to the heart of the dramatically cold phenomenon, I believe we need to travel back to the time of the dramatically cold cave people. While regular cavemen were out hunting for sustenance before the winter snows, the dramatically cold caveman huddled in his fur-lined grotto drinking herbal tea and watching the leaves turn color.
Later in history, the first dramatically cold explorers to the North Pole faced infinite hardship when the sled dogs were prematurely slaughtered just south of Greenland so that the warmth of their entrails could prevent frostbite on dramatically cold fingers.
During the Industrial Revolution, the dramatically cold people rejoiced in improved methods of coal mining. Before that time in history, a single dramatically cold person could fell an entire forest within the brief span of time from September to April in order to heat his or her home. Most deforestation, in fact, can be blamed on the dramatically cold.
In modern times, it's not desperation for warmth but tradition that drives the dramatically cold people to pull out the winter wear prematurely. The gloves, scarves, and parkas of their ancestors call to them from the backs of their closets. Undeterred by the strong stench of mothballs and the trickle of sweat on their brows, they unearth the ancestral garb and wrap themselves tightly in its comfort. And, with that, the dramatically cold breathe the first sigh of relief in months.