IF YOU LIVE in Canada, or northern USA, you know how nasty Winter can be. Also, if you live on the moon or in interstellar space, where I hear it gets almost as cold as Winnipeg.
Like me, every Winter you ask yourself What on earth am I doing here? Okay, I also ask myself that in the Spring, Fall and Summer. In the Winter, I just add “…in this cold country.” Why do I stay in such an inhospitable climate, year after year, when there are places in the world where you can live on the beach, basking in the life-giving rays of paradise, until a beaver-sized scorpion bites you and you go blind, and then slowly die as thick yellow foam erupts from your mouth.
And that’s how I remember why I stay in Canada.
With the temperature at -30, it’s a good time to compile a list of tips for keeping warm in Winter.
1. Keep warm by covering your body in Frank’s Hot Sauce, or maybe Sriracha
These magical elixirs contain an ingredient called capsaicin, or 8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide. This is the chemical that gives chili peppers their potent ability to cause a burning sensation, without actually burning you. Not only will you feel warm and tingly all over, you’ll have something to put on your lunch. Just pull up your shirt and rub that taco all over your Sriracha belly for what I like to call a warm-warm win-win.
2. Dress in that pink house insulation
Remember that movie Pretty in Pink? Well now it’s Pretty Warm in Pink. Oh, I know what you’re saying. “I’m a guy and I don’t wear pink!” Well listen, plenty of men wear pink. Just put an Izod Lacoste logo somewhere on the insulation and then throw a knitted v-neck sweater over your shoulders. Then talk loudly about how hard it is to find good help these days. No one will question your manhood—they’ll just think you went to Yale.
3. Leave your head at home
Did you know most of the heat escapes from your head? So leave it at home. You hardly use it anyway.
4. Carry around one of those McDonald’s french-fry heating lamps
My advice is to find a battery-operated version, but in a pinch you can buy a bunch of extension cables. Not only will you have a reliable source of heat, you’ll be able to buy your Big Mac combo in the morning and eat it warm at dinner.
5. Develop a thick layer of insulating blubber
See my previous tip, and make sure to upsize.
6. Have someone push you around the city in a nice warm bath
According to the legends, an ancient Greek philosopher named Diogenes of Sinope lived in a tub. So put some wheels on your tub and have a friend push you to your next business meeting. When your colleagues say, “What on earth are you doing in a tub?” just be sure to say something so clever that someone will write it down so it can be in your Wikipedia entry three thousand years from now.
7. Dress like an astronaut
It’s so cold in outer space that, so far, no one has hosted a single barbecue there. And yet the astronauts apparently do just fine. I mean, if Neil Armstrong had landed in downtown Saskatoon without his astronaut gear on, he would have jumped out of the capsule and said, “That’s one small step for a man…and one giant…holy crap it is cold!”
8. Crawl inside of a giant warm-blooded animal, maybe a whale?
I don’t remember the Bible story that well. Jonah was sent to preach to the city of Nineveh, which I’m guessing is in northern Manitoba where all the Icelanders created a mini-country and gave everything weird names like “Gimli.” So Jonah got as far as Kenora and said “Screw this, I’m freezing.” He crawled inside of that whale and kept warm until God sent a dove with a little note saying, Hey Jonah, it’s NHL playoff season! Which meant, of course, that Summer had finally arrived.
9. Find somewhere warm, get into a fetal position, stay there until July
This is really just tip number 8 when you can’t find a whale. I don’t know why we just don’t do this anyway. I figure there’s really no point to the time before Christmas and Easter, except maybe Hot Toddies and Roll Up the Rim. If you are an adult with a free will and a little money in the bank, and you still choose to spend Winter here, you are pretty much insane. So go find a corner and get in the fetal position right now, before you do something else crazy like buy Toronto Maple Leafs tickets.
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