Skip to main content

You Can't Spell Winter Without 'Winner' & 'Tea'

You Can't Spell Winter Without 'Winner' & 'Tea'

Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk syndicate
Copyright 2010

I used to enjoy the cold weather. I don't mean "Winter is so beautiful after a snowfall" or anything namby-pamby like that. I mean, I used to love the cold. The biting chill, the howling winds, the icy blasts that froze my cheeks and made my boogers freeze.

I don't know if it's because I'm getting older, or if I just don't have the youthful vigor I used to, but I don't enjoy Indiana's arctic blasts the way I did 20 years ago.

When I was in college, I was notorious for loving the cold weather. According to a classmate, during one class when the winter was hammering Ball State's campus pretty hard and many students were skipping their classes to hibernate in their rooms, the other students were discussing how much they all hated the weather, and the professor asked, "does anyone even like winter?"

Several classmates all said, "Erik." At that moment, I burst into the classroom like a mountain man staggering into a warm tavern, coat wide open, no hat, cheeks chapped and red, and a huge grin splitting my face. That reputation has followed me around for years.

When the fall comes, most people respond by donning jeans and sweatshirts. Back then, I would put on a long sleeve shirt and boots and socks, but still keep the shorts. When the winter came, others crammed themselves into down-filled parkas, and I switched to jeans and a coat. Around January, when the cold was unbearable, I would wear a sweatshirt under my coat, and wonder aloud if I should put on a hat.

Nowadays, while I still love the chill of the fall, by the middle of December, I'm wearing sweatshirts and coats, and looking desperately for a hat.

I'm still a little slow to change when I'm inside though. I usually wear shorts and t-shirts to bed, and I don't switch to sweatpants until after three weeks of wondering why I'm so cold before I finally fall asleep. I don't make the connection that my toes wouldn't feel like icicles if I would just wear socks, until my wife reminds me that there's six inches of snow outside.

Winter is also the time I start drinking tea on a regular basis. My wife and I have been in sync on tea for years. We have a season for it, and like the geese who just take off to fly south one day, we immediately know when it's time to drink tea.

Sometime in October, one of us will ask, "do you want some tea?" and the other will always say yes. We start drinking tea at the same time of year, and we also stop at the same time in the Spring. It's like someone flips a switch when we're ready for it, and again when we're done.

Of course, when "we" are in the mood for tea, that "we" turns into a "me," and I'm the one who ends up making it. There's a specific ritual that goes with making tea in our house, and I have to make sure the ritual is followed correctly. I boil the water in a small pot, rather than a kettle, I pour the boiling water onto the tea sieve (or if we're out of loose leaf tea— God forbid! — tea bags), and let it steep for five minutes. My wife never likes her tea steeped for that long, and I usually comply. But if we've been arguing, I'll let it steep for the full five minutes just so I can get a little victory.

Tea is a nice little pick-me-up on a cold winter evening, and a great to end the day. But I can't treat it like a crutch.

I've decided I'm not hiding from the winter any longer. I'm going back to the days of my youth, where I not only embraced the cold, I grabbed it by the scruff of the neck and made it lick a flagpole. I am not going to cower in fear under the covers, waiting for Spring to come. I'm going back to coats instead of parkas, ear warmers instead of hats, and gloves instead of mittens.

I will be, as Dylan Thomas said, a wild man who caught and sang the sun in flight. I won't go gentle into that cold night. I will rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Because with a nice hot cup of English Breakfast and honey, I can deal with anything.

---
Like this post? Leave a comment, Digg it, or Stumble it.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

AYFKMWTS?! FBI Creates 88 Page Twitter Slang Guide

TFBIHCAEEPTSD.

Did you get that? It's an acronym. Web slang. It's how all the teens and young people are texting with their tweeters and Facer-books on their cellular doodads.

It stands for "The FBI has created an eighty-eight page Twitter slang dictionary."

See, you would have known that if you had the FBI's 88 page Twitter slang dictionary.

Eighty-eight pages! Of slang! AYFKMWTS?! (Are you f***ing kidding me with this s***?! That's actually how they spell it in the guide, asterisks and everything. You know, in case the gun-toting agents who catch mobsters and international terrorists get offended by salty language.)

I didn't even know there were 88 Twitter acronyms, let alone enough acronyms to fill 88 pieces of paper.

The FBI needs to be good at Twitter because they're reading everyone's tweets to see if anyone is planning any illegal activities. Because that's what terrorists do — plan their terroristic activities publicly, as if they were…

Understanding 7 Different Types of Humor

One of my pet peeves is when people say they have a "dry" sense of humor, without actually understanding what it actually means.

"Dry" humor is not just any old type of humor. It's not violent, not off-color, not macabre or dark.

Basically, dry humor is that deadpan style of humor. It's the not-very-funny joke your uncle the cost analysis accountant tells. It's Bob Newhart, Steven Wright, or Jason Bateman in Arrested Development.

It is not, for the love of GOD, people, the Black Knight scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I swear, if anyone says Monty Python is "dry humor" is going to get a smack.

Here are some other types of comedy you may have heard and are just tossing around, willy-nilly.

Farce: Exaggerated comedy. Characters in a farce get themselves in an unlikely or improbable situation that takes a lot of footwork and fast talking to get out of. The play "The Foreigner" is an example of a farce, as are many of the Jeeves &…

What Are They Thinking? The Beloit College Mindset List

Every year at this time, the staff at Beloit College send out their new student Mindset List as a way to make everyone clutch their chest and feel the cold hand of death.

This list was originally created and shared with their faculty each year, so the faculty would understand what some of their own cultural touchstones might mean, or not mean, to the incoming freshmen. They also wanted the freshmen to know it was not cool to refer to '80s music as "Oldies."

This year's incoming Beloit freshmen are typically 18 years old, born in 1999. John F. Kennedy Jr. died that year, as did Stanley Kubrick and Gene Siskel. And so did my hope for a society that sought artistic and intellectual pursuits for the betterment of all humanity. Although it may have actually died when I heard about this year's Emoji Movie.

Before I throw my hands up in despair, here are a few items from the Mindset list for the class of 2021.

They're the last class to be born in the 1900s, and are t…