So there I was… sitting in my shorts, sweat covering my body, contemplating whether it was too early to grab a Heinie or not and I opened Facebook. One of my young sisters-in-law was griping about the cold temps in sunny California (high 60’s). Mind you my Scandahoovian forefathers passed on the DNA that tells me it’s uncomfortably hot after 78. Any humidity above 65 is gross. All this talk about the perception of hot and cold on Facebook brought back an amusing incident that occurred between two of my wife’s cousins.
The company I worked for had sent me to St. Paul for a couple of weeks. My wife’s grandparents lived on “the Range” (read that the Iron Range) sooo with a little fiddling I hooked some vacation time on each end of the trip, packed up the kids, the dog, and the boat, and off we went. It was all good. Sue and the kids spent time with the old folks. I fished a bit with uncles. There were lots of barley pops and some super sausages.
Anyway we discovered that two of the cousins would be catching a flight from “The Cities” to the left coast in the evening on the same day I would be traveling down to the cities. Now this was back in the olden days before there was a big old Interstate that ran from the northern part of the state to St. Paul. Can you say two lane highway - speed limit 45? Being the great guy I am and wanting to make points with the in-laws (fishing guides), I offered to give the gals a lift. The timing would work. I’d drop them at my hotel and they could swim in the pool and such. I would check at the plant and set things up for the next day then return to the hotel and take them to the airport (no security checks necessary).
The cousins were about 17, I think ,and were in the back seat just talking up blue streak. Now understand one of these gals had lived her whole life in NORTHERN Minnesota. The other in SOUTHERN California. Well I wasn’t eavesdropping exactly but it was a bit of a drive and I was still young enough (about 35) that my hearing still worked so I picked up an a few things. It became very apparent to me the gals were from two different worlds. They were on the subject of “cold” when I finally had to jump in. I just could not resist. The dialog went something like this:
John … “What is cold?”
Beach Bunny …“Cold is when the temperature gets down in the 40’s.”
Snow Bunny …“Yeah, it’s really cold when the temperature gets to 40 below.”
Now I’m a fellow who, when he was young, competed in outdoor speed skating events. At one of these they took a competitor off to the hospital because he froze part of his lung. I thought it was great fun to climb Adirondack mountains on snow shoes and camp in lean-tos in zero degree weather. But the coldest I ever remember being was in Danang RVN and the temperature was about 50. Of course the humidity was 110 and it had been raining for three weeks. So, how cold is cold? It all depends.
Well, I’m grateful I gave those gals a ride. They paid me with a story I’ve told and retold a thousand times. OH! For a better estimate of the number times I’ve told the story just ask Sue and listen for the groan.