It’s winter. That means it’s going to get cold out. Unless of course you live in some tropical wonderland like Hawaii, in which case you can go straight to hell. But for the rest of us, this means that we get to deal with temperatures which are, at their very best, extremely uncomfortable. At their worst, they can straight up kill you. Yes, nature is the rawest beast of all, and in order to protect yourself from its savage fury we thought we’d bring you these helpful hints, nine ways to tell that it’s not just cold, but dangerously cold.
Look, it’s one thing for snow not to melt on your car. That’s normal. When you manage to get snow in your car, drive around for a while with the heat on, and then look down only to see a nice frozen pile of snow still stuck to the seats, you know old man winter has kicked things up a notch. It’s not that you have a shitty car – okay, probably – but it’s so cold out that when you turn on the heat, your car might as well flash a blinking light of shoulders shrugging and the words “Are you nuts? Get inside!” in bright neon. Even machines have their limits.
In case you don’t live in the frozen north of Winterfell, USA, you might not know that one way road commissions deal with frozen roads is by sprinkling salt on them, which lowers the freezing point of water/melts already existing ice. The problem is that once it gets too cold – around 15°F – it doesn’t work. This is, uh, this a problem. When this happens, society pretty much just gives up and becomes a lawless collective, filled with idiots sliding down the streets and survivalists riding Tauntauns through your backyard because suddenly Earth has turned into Hoth. And as Han and Luke showed all of us, that doesn’t end well for anyone. I mean, have you ever tried to masturbate with a robot hand after yours freezes off?
A trip to the grocery store should be an easy thing, right? But sometimes it gets so cold that even that ordinary excursion becomes something out of a horror movie. First of all, you’ve got to deal with your car, which as we’ve already shown, tends to get a little bitchy when it gets too cold. Then, you’ve got to deal with the roads, which… again, if it gets too cold, there’s pretty much nothing anyone can do to clear them up. And finally, even if you do make it to the store, you’ll either be met by a rampaging horde of zombie lunatics, hell-bent on fighting each other to the death Battle Royale style over the last can of peas, or an eerie, empty wasteland already picked free of everything from beef jerky to toilet paper. And then you’ve got to go home, either bloody and scarred from taking human life, or empty-handed, in which case you’ll just die of starvation in your frozen igloo of a house. Good times.
If you ever find yourself in the middle of winter wondering “Wait, I didn’t use a whole bottle of hair gel…” then it’s just too goddamn cold. That’s because your hair just froze, dude. Chances are, you were running late, just hopped out of the shower and went on your way. That’s a mistake. Sure, it will eventually melt, but nobody needs the indignity of one of their friends or coworkers cracking their frozen hair helmet with a hammer. This isn’t Ice Age Europe, and you’re at least marginally better than a caveman, no matter what Gladys from HR says.
Sometimes it gets so cold that one deep breath becomes some weird sadistic torture device. You can feel everything from your nostrils to your lungs freeze up, and look, when even your boogers become frozen ice crystals, it might be time to just head inside and curl up in the fetal position on top of a heating register. Your lungs probably won’t actually freeze – although there have been one or two cases where that’s reportedly happened – but you won’t have to worry about that since by that time the frostbite will have already taken care of you. Yay?
You know it’s just too damn cold when businesses whose very survival depends on it being cold look out the window, say to hell with this, and then roll over and go back to bed. This is like Superman getting a room at the Motel 6 because his Fortress of Solitude is a little too chilly. But it happens. Then again, if it’s that cold and you really, really want to go ice skating or skiing, nobody’s stopping you, Johnny Knoxville. See you at the bottom of Asshole Gorge.
Yes, this actually happens. People get so cold, usually because they’re wet – again, watch that hair after a shower – hypothermia sets in, and pretty soon they’re wandering the frozen wasteland asking shivering hobos if they’ve seen the mothership yet. If you really want to hallucinate, there are better ways, dudes. Eat some mushrooms, lick some toads, but don’t put yourself in position to have to have your limbs amputated after you catch frostbite from shedding your clothes because you think that they’re spiders. Nobody needs that.
It’s one thing for it to be cold out, but it’s another thing for it to be so cold out that there’s nothing you can do to warm yourself up even after retreating back inside. When you find yourself shivering like some wretched Dickens character, it might be time to start fantasizing about moving somewhere warmer, like Ecuador or the sun. True story: I was so cold last year that I actually bought one of those stupid Snuggies and some fingerless gloves so I could work and stay warm. Naturally, I ended up looking like an insane Girl Power version of Pip from Great Expectations. Don’t be like me, friends. Invest in a space heater.
Yup. It was so cold at the recent Packers vs. 49ers game in Green Bay that people complained about their beer freezing. That’s just nature being an asshole, man. I mean, beer is the one thing people can actually use to survive the misery of the cold without going nuts and stabbing the neighbors. Sure, you get to see a desperate drunk deep-throat a beer icicle, which is pretty funny, but when it gets so cold that even the warm embrace of sweet, sweet beer gets taken away from people, then it’s officially reached dangerous levels of cold.