The high today is predicted to be around 0, which means there is no temperature at all. We ran out. Come back tomorrow.

Optimists are saying the thermometer might reach 1, but that’s not all that impressive, either. It’s like someone found an extra degree in the storage room, blew off the dust and propped it up.

Whatever the temp ends up being today, make sure you get outside and build some character. That’s what our cold weather does, you know. Of course, the only part of your character that’s built is the part that can accept low temperatures, which isn’t really a test of character at all.

Let’s imagine Eliot Ness, going up against Al Capone in the days when bootlegger money corrupted many a cop:

Ness: “I need policemen whose character is unimpeachable. You there. Where did you grow up?”

Sgt. Huedere: “Arizona, sir.”

Ness: “Sorry. I need men whose character was built by exposure to insanely cold weather.”

Huedere: “In the summer, the temperature was over 100 for weeks at a time. I watched my dog burst into flames one day. My pappy said we’d stick it out because it made us strong, God-fearing people who could take anything.”

Ness: “Anything? What if Capone threatened to put snow down your pants?”

Huedere (sheepishly): “I’d do anything he said, I guess.”

Ness: “Get off my squad. You there, Svenson. Where did you grow up?”

Svenson: “Mortification, Minnesota. Got down to absolute zero from October through April, and it made me the man I am today. I have so much incredible character. Also six prosthetic toes.”

Ness: “What if Capone offered you fancy ivory false toes, like Rockefellers have?”

Svenson: “I’d say no, because I am the sort of strong person who doesn’t wear a hat in 5-below weather because it musses my hair.”

Ness: “You’re just what we need.”

Character is more than the ability to endure without complaint because your lips have frozen solid, but we like to think it makes us tough. I guess it’s one of those “whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger” things — which itself is ridiculous. “Gosh, Hank, you’re lifting twice the weights you hoisted last week!” “Yep! Had double pneumonia.”

To sum up; if you want character, go outside. If you want strength, stay inside, which does not kill you. For extra-strong character, go out to get the mail in your shorts.