Thursday, 31 January 2008

An All-Time Low

There were no clean spoons around the house so I ate cottage cheese with a plastic tortoiseshell shoehorn that was lying next to the couch--so I guess I’ve hit a new personal low.
Douglas Coupland, Life After God

In 1893, Calgary reached -29 C. Until yesterday, that was the coldest the city had ever been since records began. Today it was -33, and in this snow-loving, Winter-Olympics-hosting, ice-skating, earflap-wearing center, Canadians were feeling the cold.
I was, too. During my time here I have developed a personal barometer of physical afflictions which herald the onset of cold. As follows:

0 degrees Run around in underwear giggling like a schoolgirl.
-5 Nose turns red. Need gloves.
-8 Cheeks turn red. Need hat.
-10 Ears hurt. Hands in gloves in pockets.
-12 Find myself saying, Bit Cold Out There, Eh.
-15 Inhaling through nose freezes nosehairs together.
-17 Eyes water involuntarily.
-18 Hear Canadians saying, Bit Cold Out There, Eh.
-20 Blood flees from fingers and toes. Need scarf.
-25 Inhaling causes coughing.
-27 Hear the homeless saying, Bit Cold Out There, Eh.
-29 Eyes water; vision blurs; tears freeze on glasses.
-30 Fingers turn purple; toes turn yellow.
-31 Lose will to live. Look for bear to fight.
-33 Experience blurring of space and time.


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