Taking My Responsibility Very Seriously

10 Jan

While thankfully I rarely have to do this, I am prepared to apologise for being wrong about the weather. This winter has been rather cold, apparently the coldest in the last 1000 years. So while I still stand by my original comments on British weather in general, I was concerned that some readers may take my comments about the English overreacting to the cold to heart and do something stupid. Therefore, I want to take a moment to discuss some of the dangers of cold weather.

I was shocked to find out that when the thermometer shows below 0C, pensioners in Britain die at the rate of one every six minutes.  I am led to believe this has something to do with the fact that many of them are on the poorer spectrum. Shame on you, British Gas! I, for one, would be happy to pay an extra 2p each month if it would help keep an older couple from freezing to death under their Littlewoods duvet (especially if they still owed on it). Our nation is in a positively frightful state when we let our pensioners die from the cold rather than through more usual means.

However, bad weather can be treacherous even for those of us who still have reasons left to live. Ice on the roads in Britain can kill you as soon as look at you. But even if you don’t venture away from your house, you can put yourself at risk. You could take a tumble as you fetch your morning’s milk and many a cardiac arrest has resulted from snow removal. Just this morning, I myself found my heart rate racing like a bastard as I watched Christopher clearing my path. It’s never bad to see a young man’s exertion, but it’s important not to go beyond one’s limits.

Perhaps my most perilous exposure to the freezing weather happened during Trenton, NJ’s coldest winter. A gentleman friend and I had gone to the theatre in the City as we normally did on Saturday evenings; that night we were honoured guests at the opening of Dolly’s Destiny, starring the gorgeously drunk Quentin Wisteria. On the drive home, my friend (whose name currently escapes me) and I decided to stop off at the Lucky Diamonds Motel (extremely reasonable hourly rates) in New Brunswick. After, we popped into a liquor store to purchase a bottle of whiskey, which was fortunate for as soon as we had gotten back onto I-95, the weather made a turn for the worst. We were virtually “snowblinded.” Darren (I’ve just remembered his name) temporarily lost control of our sedan and we ended up in a bit of a ditch. Because we were dressed rather dapperly, we decided that fleeing the car was not a viable option. Instead we cracked open the drink and spent a delightfully dangersome hour or two until we were rescued by some charming policemen. Some of you may remember the consequent news story—believe me, we were fully clothed when the officers arrived and I have long since forgiven them for arresting us as charges were dropped once they realised just who exactly we were. In many ways, I am lucky to be alive after that evening and although I never spoke to Darren again once he reunited with his wife, the fact that he and I came so close to meeting our maker together means he will always hold a special spiritual place in my heart.

Hypothermia is not a joke, my friends. Listen to me.  I hear it’s quite an unflattering way to go. So indulge in some cocoa, keep well bundled and snuggle up in front of the fire, Britons, until the cold snap passes. I don’t want any of you suffering frigidity under my watch.

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