1. The constant nipple protrusion.
When the temperature drops, my hi-beams come on. For hours at a time. And with an intensity that is mildly frightening. Some of my shirts are so lacerated at pec level that it looks like Edward Scissorhands dropped by for a drunken game of Twister. On the positive side, with these diamond nubs going on, you could put me on one of those slot-racer things from my childhood and I would never fly off the tracks on the sharp curves.
2. The inverse reaction a bit further south.
Although I might be running around with Ginsu knives sticking out of my chest, the reverse is transpiring with the twigs and berries. Mr. Happy wants to be someplace warm, and apparently that place is back inside my body. This makes things very difficult to find when nature calls. I’m tired of going on a scavenger hunt in Nutbush City Limits.
3. The nightly charbroiling.
I understand that the heater needs to run all night or we will die, frozen in our beds, not discovered until the Spring Thaw when the sheriff knocks on the door to see why we ain’t paid our light bill. But I don’t understand why the process of heating has to suck all the moisture out of your body, leaving you as nothing more than a burnt-out husk trapped under 7 layers of Aunt Jethrine’s special afghans, too dehydrated to call for help.
4. The lip-splitting and tongue-cracking.
If you do manage to somehow survive the night, your mouth probably won’t, especially if you have gas heating. Your lips will be criss-crossed with deep, blood-filled ravines, and your tongue will feel like you’ve been shoving it in a cotton bale all night. Do not try to roll your tongue around in search of the one remaining drop of saliva in your mouth. You risk losing a layer of tongue skin if it comes in contact with some of the more treacherously arid parts of your cheeks. Instead, calmly and patiently work your way to the nearest source of fresh water, and then drink 5 gallons of it.
5. The extra layers of clothing.
I already have more than my share of poundage, thank you very much. I don’t really relish adding bulky sweaters and coats and mufflers and circus tents, making me look like I should be floating in the sky with “Goodyear” on my side. Or having people start parking their cars next to me, thinking they finally found the Super Bowl. And seriously, how is one supposed to drive a car when your arms are sticking straight out to the sides of your body and you can’t lower them? Use my tongue? And have it snap off because it’s so brittle?
6. Waiting decades for your car to heat up.
Why even bother to turn the heater on? You won’t even feel the first feeble bits of warmth trickling out of the vents until you’ve already been at work for two hours. And you snooty people with the remote-start cars, drinking hot cocoa in the comfort of your house until it’s time to slip into the sauna of your deluxe vehicle, wearing flip-flops and shorts? I don’t really care for you. Don’t even talk to me until April.
7. The complete morons on the icy roads.
Dear Stupid Fools That Don’t Understand That There Must Be Speed Adjustments When the Ground Is White: You know you’re going to end up in the ditch. We’re all aware of this. So why don’t you just go ahead and pile into the ditch in front of your house, so you can wait comfortably inside your dwelling for the tow truck, and the rest of us can have a decent chance of getting to work on time. Thanks.
8. The Flu That Will Not Die.
You can use all the hand sanitizer you want, but if you work in a building with other people, like most of us do, you are going to get sick. Repeatedly. Because you’re in a soup of germs. You’re going to keep passing the crud back and forth until you just want to claw your face. So just brace yourself for it. Go to Sam’s, buy the bulk crates of TheraFlu and tissue, and prepare for the skin on your nose to be in shreds for the next 3 months.
9. The piercing, mind-searing, soul-shattering wind.
It never stops. Ever. This is why some people start talking to themselves, commit odd crimes, and then spend the rest of their lives under heavy sedation. Or as the CEO of a major corporation. Same thing.
10. The pale, pasty skin and the frizzy, uncontrollable, static-electricity hair.
What’s this? You think you just spotted the Abominable Snowman in your bathroom. Honey, put down the phone and quit trying to call Oprah. That’s you. Yes, it is. Seriously. Raise your right hand. See how the Yeti in the mirror just did the same thing? This is the image that you are presenting to the world. Now, now, don’t cry. It’ll be okay. Fix yourself a nice drink and then we’ll talk about it. Just don’t touch anything metal or the electrical charge will knock you out for two hours…
(Originally posted in the “The Sound and the Fury” on 01/15/11.)