Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Left Out In The Cold


Living in a cold climate has lots of advantages.

When you are doing the big family dinner and you run out of fridge space - just open the door and voila - more fridge and even freezer space.  You never waste time waiting 3 hours for a cake to cool down so you can frost it.  You just have to be sure that you have someone stand guard against the crows, the magpies, foxes, coyotes, dogs, cats, skunks, mice, deer, wandering neighbours and the abominable snowman.

You always have extra ice - just make sure it is not yellow - unless the punch is lacking flavour or someone swallowed a jelly fish.  (It can ease the pain.)


During that time of the year when all the relatives show up and hugging is going to happen, regardless of the gear you wear trying to prevent or at least discourage it, at least no-one is dripping sweat.  Here in Australia, the times we are most likely to get together as a family fall on the hottest days of the year.  The disturbing habit of hugging one another is only worsened by the fact ninety percent of the time people are sweating profusely and so are you.  For the love of God that alone should preclude any sane person from hugging.  Nope.

And ok, I might be able to recover emotionally from being sweat on by family, but by complete strangers?   And screaming and running away is apparently frowned on.  People take it as a great insult that you are declining their sweaty body from rubbing all over you.  And the worst part is when they tuck their head in your neck crook and you feel them dripping down your back.

When it is that hot, everyone is half naked anyway.  You can't even grab a towel and wipe away where they touched you, or hose yourself off, or run to the shower.  Evidently there are rules about how long one must appear to have enjoyed the hug and allow the sweat to remain on the body.  Like maybe 1 hour is considered polite but 59 minutes and 59 seconds is rude.  And believe me someone at the party will have a timer.

Which is why I drink at Australian get togethers . . . a lot.  And then I accidentally "fall" into the pool.  Usually right after the hugging has taken place, and sometimes before.  People don't want to hug me then because I am sopping wet.  Obviously pool water is way more "ewwwy" than human sweat.

If you have a big meeting and are all nervous in Canada, you can go outside and cool off.   Freezing cold is great for cooling off tempers and rambunctious kids.  It is also great for accidental freezings.  If you happen to tell your brother he needs to cool down when you are in the car, miles away from home, and send him outside, without his winter gear . . . you can even make magic happen. 


That's how I became an only child.

The magic of the frozen wasteland and the people who know the joy of cold.

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