Upon exiting the house and traversing the sidewalks that had been coated with a thin layer of snow, I nearly wiped out on the ice beneath it, but saved myself due to my cat-like balance. And the fear of smashing my head and no one finding me until the spring thaw. And I thought to myself, what a cruel and unfair mistress Mother Nature and my broken city are, laying that layer of white on top of frozen, poorly kept, unsalted sidewalks. They are both deceivers, unlike the freaking cold weather this morning. That is truth in your face.
In the vain hopes of somehow distracting my brain and remaining sensory organs from the horrible, deathly cold this morning, I plugged my ear buds deep into my aural canals, cranked up the volume and listened to whatever played. Firstly, the androgynous British band that was crooning away merely reconfirms my belief that the British nation is committed to unclear gender definitions of their musicians and is equally committed to messing with conventions on what actually constitutes a male. My goodness, they sounded like pansies traipsing around in dresses.
But the musical interlude couldn’t distract me from the bone-chilling arctic blast. So as I waited for the train again, I stopped the music, looked at the light snow falling and listened to the quiet air around me. I listened deeply, and thought about this cold snap, how could this cold oxygen allow for ANY snow to fall. It was as if Mother Nature was squeezing the last remnants of moisture out of the air with a frosty hammer, almost in an attempt to emasculate this moisture by forcing it from the skies to appear in wee, sissy, slow-falling flakes that were quickly trampled on leaving nothing left but blue sky, wind and the tip of my bulbous, ugly nose frostbitten.
So I decided to listen even more intently, with a keener ear, and I could swear I heard the snow flakes saying “#@!*%$# It’s cold out here! Kill me please! What the hell are you people doing out here?? It’s freaking -500 Cº you idiot!” Startled by this honesty, I decided to pay even closer attention to the air around my frigid face. Then I heard the soft voice of the air molecules themselves, whispering unto me, saying “Dude, it’s so cold outside. We’re heading over to your poorly insulated, crappy house. With all those cracks and holes, we’ll spend the day indoor in your abode. it’s way warmer in there. We’re only out here because we have to be. What’s your excuse?”
What is my excuse indeed. It’s simple. Somewhere along the way, Calvinism took root in North America and dictated stupidly we should be at work on days like this, lest the devil find work for idle hands to do. Well, I have news for you Mr. Calvin – with the invention of the iPad and other electronic devices, my hands are rarely idle. They are busy surfing the Web and looking for free stuff to download and busy beating off my children who always want the damn thing to play games and watch pre-teen movies that make me want wretch.
But no, I came to work, far warmer than I thought, due to my magical undergarments. Two pieces in fact, that I can imagine are not unlike the religious undergarments worn by Mormons and really religious Jews. Just that my magic sweater is less religious in its intent. Long underwear and a sweater my wife made me from some space age wool or remnants from a chemical plant that insulates against the cold so well, I was toasty when I arrived. I can’t help but think religious undergarments have some kind of practical basis. Why else would you wear them? My theory, which has no basis in fact, or any shred of evidence to back it up, has to do with cold weather. Mormons settled in Utah, and the winters are cold. Ultra-orthodox Jews used to live in Russia, Poland and other eastern blights of landmass, where winters were bitter. So what better way to stay warm and simultaneously pray for God not to freeze your nuts off than with religious undergarments?
Brilliant, really. And not at all gender non-specific like that British band I was listening to this morning.
Folically challenged, vertically deficient and mentally maladroit,
Maharaja Ranjit Druker