Exhibit 15.1

What I Talk About When I Talk About Cold

Before Sunday I would have told you one of three things.

* Winter camping as a boy scout. Possibly because of the hot SUV ride there or the awesomely warm sleeping bag I took, but these "Klondike Camps" always felt colder while packing the sled in the church basement than they did screwing wheels on the sled by the campsite because there wasn't any snow. I don't recall how many times I went, at least twice, but there was never snow or cold that might be considered dangerous. Still, the camps were unrelenting in their camping and even at a sunny 20° F, an 11-year-old's body quits after a few hours. This is where I first started drinking coffee though the adults never shared the whiskey they didn't even try to hide. At the time I thought maybe they were just disrespecting our intelligence, but now I realize it' s just hard to hide anything when you're wearing mittens.

* Sleeping outside of a hostel in Switzerland. Now, it was May, but still. It isn't actually as interesting as it sounds--except to me, I suppose--so I'll keep this all temperature related. All I know is that after an hour of sleeping on a concrete stoop, when I woke up my heart was cold. You should add "From Exposure" to your list of most feared deaths. And then you should never show your list to O.J.

(I'm totally still gunning for a gig with Leno. Jokes like that work even better at 10, Jay.)

* Ice fishing. Fairly self-explanatory if you've done it. I understand from movies and television that ice fishing is often done in some kind of enclosed cabin, but the time I went it was only a bunch of us exposed on a lake augering about thirty holes in an area the size of a high school classroom. Here's how cold it was: I had a great time, but I would make the car crash if you ever tried to drive me to a lake and make me do it again. I don't know how I would make the car crash, but rest assured, now that I'm remembering how it felt, I'm coming up with a plan just in case. Just a guess, but the plan will probably involve lunging at the steering wheel. Or possibly hypnosis. I'll keep working on it.

But there is nothing--nothing--like standing for three hours in windchill cutting down to -20° F. It was like someone stole my toes and fingers and replaced them with terror. It was like wearing a suit made out of brain freezes. It was like volunteering to guard a penguin who, instead of doing heart warming penguin shenanigans, spends the afternoon telling racist jokes. It was like suddenly knowing how the last dinosaur felt at the moment of its death.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, if I ever pick you up in December and tell you I'm taking you to a football game, you should make the car crash, possibly by using your watch to deflect light in my eyes or by shooting a poison dart into my neck.


jimStock said...

I think a penguin who told racist jokes would be worth near-death cold. They are half white and half black, as not to offend any particular demographic. Plus I could use a few more inuit jokes.

ryan call said...

the bears/packers game looked wicked cold too, but i think they only said like windchill of 5degrees...

OC said...

At least you walked away with a warm feeling that only a victory can provide.