We have to dispel the idea that True Minnesotans don’t complain about the cold. We do. It’s ridiculous to think that authentic Minnesotans see the temp at minus-27, and smile: “Great! Time for some character-building toe pain, just ’cause I’m living.”
It’s sudden cold like that which reminds you of Shakespeare’s immortal words:
“O winter. Your coward sun that flees half in failure, half in shame / This arctic ache, this raw clawing gust that rips the flesh of hope from the bones of joy — are we not filled from sole to crown with despair, considering / the dark months that stretch ahead like seven seasons of a Netflix series you kinda liked at the beginning but now it’s, like, you just have to see what happens?”
OK, that’s not entirely Shakespeare, but you get the point. Polar vortices in January are fine. That’s when winter gets to be as bad as it wants. February is like the bully’s small sidekick that puts the boot in after January’s worked you over.
December, though, should be jingly and merry. It should not be murder cold.
Anyway. This is the time of year when getting stuck in your car can be deadly, so we offer the following advice:
Do not get stuck in your car.
That should cover it. If not, here’s some gear you should have in your trunk:
1. A smaller car. If this is not possible, have a Segway. It may not go far, but someone will instantly show up to point and laugh, and you can ask them to call 911.
2. A flashlight, for waving down other cars. Get one of those super-powerful LED flashlights, which will blind oncoming drivers and send them into the ditch so you have some company.
3. A deck of cards, in case the people who just went into the ditch are up for Canasta.
4. “The Complete Rules of Canasta,” which also can be burned to provide warmth; remember to crack a window.
5. A sack of gravel, which you put under the wheels for traction, and then you send someone to the back to push, forgetting that the gravel will shoot out like rock salt from a shotgun.
6. At least 40 of those hand-warmer things they sell at the hardware store, and a needle and thread. Make a suit.
8. Pack some high-energy food like jerky, so you don’t have to resort to cannibalism right off the bat.
9. A flare gun, because that really did the Titanic a lot of good, didn’t it?
Things to remember if your car quits in the godless cold:
1. Stay put. Many people suffer serious consequences if they leave the car to seek help. “But I’m in a McDonald’s parking lot,” you say. Doesn’t matter. Stay put. That stuff is bad for you.
2. Do not panic. It’s so annoying. If you must hyperventilate, lean close to the window so you can spell out a message in the fogged glass. Remember to write it backward so it can be understood from the other side. PLEH just sounds like you’re bored.
3. Pack an extra phone battery. Never mind calling 911; you can make plane reservations to Florida or Arizona for March.
You really want to prepare for winter? Bookmark Priceline.com.