Right now, it’s -31 with a -39 wind chill. Awesome. Blasts from the polar region makes life interesting and challenging. How many people have experienced -31? Polar Bears, the Inuit and Popsicles. We are unique (try explaining -39 to a Kiwi). When it’s this cold, activities abound; for example, the car sprint – run to your car, start it and sprint back inside. In fact, this challenge has the potential for a new Olympic sport – the twenty metre car dash. Of course Canada and Norway would compete for the gold.
At home, you only have a few options. One, get under a warm blankie, sip hot tea and read a book, usually something by a Russian author, long, cold and dark. Another option is to take a scorching hot shower, drenching yourself for the length of a Russian novel and then quickly jump into bed. Keeping warm, keeps you on your numb toes. And you may need more than a novel because you never know how long the blast will last.
Now one mustn’t drown in icy cold depression during these nasty Arctic blasts. On the positive side, there is always some place colder – Igloolik Airport, Nunavut was -43 C at the time of writing. Antarctica, a balmy -49 C and Mars has an average temperature of – 67 C. So it could be worse, way worse. Think your ears are ready to fall off in -25? Your whole face would fall off in Nunavut or on Mars.
Then there’s the “Death Star” benefit. These freezing temperatures kill everything that does not belong here. We will never have a Burmese Python problem – go ahead Mr. Snake take a slither outside! This is also why fleas or bed bugs don’t make a living here. Dog has fleas? Let him outside for thirty minutes or so. Bye bye, fleas. Same for bed bugs – put the mattress out for a few days and voilà, gonzo bugs. But best of all it keeps creatures like people from Toronto from moving here. A little chilly for ya, Mr. Maple Leaf fan? Or nasty insects from British Columbia (unfortunately not Canuck fans), like the nefarious pine beetle which are too afraid to cross the border into Alberta.
Need to burn those extra Christmas calories? Try doing the car dash in your slippers and jammies – the calories just drop like frozen turkeys. And sprinting with bags full of groceries, definitely keeps your weight in check as well as balance – put that bongo balance ball away. Definite health benefits, not to mention the amount of smokers who give up rather than risk death puffing outside.
And art formations everywhere. Beautiful ice crystal patterns covering windows in a solid block of ice. Spring is here when we can finally see out our windows. The tranquility outside is unimaginable – not a dog to chase you or a bird to poo on you. Not a sound anywhere except the crackle of the air in your lungs.
Yes, yes this is the perfect time of year. Beautiful, quiet and over population is never a problem. But don’t get to comfortable, spring is only three months away. Or Florida in five hours.