Wowie, wow wow – it’s cold

Overcoming writer’s block is always a long, violent battle requiring courage and devotion. It is a battle many excellent writers engage on a regular basis. That’s why I skipped all the trouble and settled on a very cliché topic right away: the weather. It is definitely a constant when it comes to subject matter fit for commentary. Everyone always has something to say about what goes on outside. It is in that spirit that I unashamedly take the role of the complainer.

Can you believe the conditions right now in Minneapolis? They are horrifying. Traveling to class this week was comparable to dragging a dogsled down the Alaskan Iditarod Trail. Naked.

I wish I was just imagining or exaggerating some of the things that happen in cold temperatures, because they are scary. Yesterday I exhaled into the frigid air, and the carbon dioxide in my breath experienced sublimation, solidifying and dropping onto my shoes. My toes didn’t feel the impact, because obviously they (and other extremities) were frozen solid. Furthermore, as the temperature outside decreased to what seemed like absolute zero, the muscles on my body (I have several) stiffened, causing me to walk around like I was doing the robot dance.

These facts lead me to seriously reconsider my academic fervor. I must be absolutely crazy to 1) walk outside in this weather and 2) walk outside in this weather with the “incentive” of attending classes. I mean, attending class is difficult enough, but with this weather mixed in, I might as well forget it.

During my freshman orientation, I was told the extreme winters were a non-issue because the bridge was heated and the buildings connected with tunnels.

The bridge is not heated, in reality, and as for the tunnels, they are useful for the sole purpose of disorienting occupants. Besides, those “Gopher Way” catacombs can only take you a building away from where you started, at most. These are problems that result in skipping classes and major frostbite. Let’s face it; it’s either one or the other.

Darn it, it’s cold.

One might ask if there are any perks to the chilly conditions. In all politeness, this person might be an idiot. I suppose one benefit of these temperatures is that I finally have an excuse for being lazy. I get a nosebleed the second I step out the door. So consider that another reason for me not to go the gym to work out.

Yet another advantage of the sub-zero weather is that my mastication has become particularly easy. With my teeth chattering non-stop, I manage to cut and process my food effortlessly. My digestion has been pleasantly comfortable thanks to the cold.

However, everything and everyone would fare much better if the weather was tropical, or at least as warm as, say, Illinois. Even the thought of it being 20 degrees warmer outside sends shivers down my spine (in a warm sort of way). On the other hand, I know escape from this cold epidemic will come soon, during spring. And if that blasted Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow come Feb. 2, I might just move to Mexico. I hate groundhogs.

Six more weeks of winter for us Gophers could be disastrous to our morale. Maybe all this weather-related bickering will help.

Mat Koehler is a columnist. He welcomes comments at [email protected]