Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Colder Than Mars


"Yeah, I can't believe we're going into the 'polar vortex,'" I've been telling everyone. Including "Juan" at Trader Joe's yesterday who casually mentions that Chicago is "colder than Mars now."

Big Dog had just read that it was colder than the South Pole. Now it's colder than MARS?!

California's been having the most spectacular heatwave. A week or so ago, our Central Coast area was THE warmest place in the U.S. Hotter than Hawaii; hotter than Puerto Rico. I look up at the gorgeous blue cloudless skies and pray for rain. Only in my dreams are the hills changing color to their normal winter green.

So why the heck are we flying into the Deep Freeze?

I have never been in that kind of cold in my life. When my friend in Chicago tells me, "It's not that bad: temps have gone up to 9 degrees" I don't even know how to feel. What's the difference between minus 19 and just plain 9 degrees? I can't imagine anything colder than, say, 30 degrees, so anything below it is still fantasy land for me.

My father used to tell us how cold it was during the winters in Manchuria. He and his older brother loved to tell us it was so cold they had to take a hammer to the bathroom "because your pee would freeze and you'd have to knock it loose from your pecker." We believed them.

I am frightened. And when I am this scared, I am also terribly excited. As if I were getting ready to go to Mars.

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