Cold Weather Survival Tips From One Jackass to Another

Unless you have been watching nothing but Queen Bey's Grammy performance on repeat, you probably have heard that the Arctic Vortex or whatever they are calling it is back and almost as nasty as Bey.

If you aren't used to this weather, or are a little flaky like yours truly, here are some cold weather survival tips to avoid dying. Note that I have actually made all of these mistakes and am still kicking, so there is an element of luck involved as well.

1. Don't let your sweaty hands touch cold things. Obvious, right? Notsomuch. This morning I was "negotiating" with EK to get into the car, pulled off my mittens and slapped my gross, wet hand on the metal garage doorknob. I didn't need that layer of skin anyway.

Source: A Christmas Story (1983)

2. Cars slide on ice/snow/slush. I know! It's nuts. So you pedestrian, yea, YOU! Don't dart out into traffic like it's some July day when I can slam on my breaks and avoid mowing you over by mere millimeters. I have no control of the car when I drive.

The above video is what I call yesterday - except the sledder was a jackass on Clybourn.

* There is a kernel of popcorn in my tea

3. Outfit your car like you are going to get a flat tire. This means blankets, those hand-warmer jobbers, unbroken granola bars (if you are traveling with a three-year-old or younger), a cell phone charger, whatever. Maybe even splurge on roadside assistance (especially if you have no damn idea how to change a tire or hate temps below, say, 50 F). Because you are going to get a flat tire. And if you don't have this stuff, you will get frostbite, then gangrene and then die.

4. Buy yourself some damn gloves. Cozy, warm, make your hands sweat (see warning above) gloves. Socks don't work. Hiding them in your jacket doesn't work. Your girlfriend's buttpockets don't work. I know this. If you don't wear said gloves, your fingers will fall off and you will get gangrene and die.

This is one cold dude. Photo credit: Memebase, Iron-man01

5. Stop and ask someone who is perhaps less fortunate if they are OK. Maybe he is and he flips you off, but maybe he isn't and has nowhere to go. The potential ramifications of the latter situation are tragic and unnecessary. I carry around a little card with emergency shelter numbers, but a simple call to 911 or your Alderman will get someone out to do a welfare check.

* I just "drate" the popcorn kernel. It was as gross-tasting as you might imagine.

6. You have four-wheel-drive? Congratulations. You must be an amazing driver who can drive straight up the face of an ice-covered mountain with your eyes closed while nursing your frostbitten, gangrened hands. WHERE ARE YOUR GLOVES? Wait, no. Those fancy cars still slip on ice, right? YES. Don't be a jackass just because you have 4WD or you might end up mowing over the asshat of a pedestrian mentioned above.

Good luck. Remember, I am still on the road and not heeding ANY of the above advice.

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    Annie Swingen

    Chicago-based hyperbole enthusiast. Mom to a kid and sometimes my mom. Overboard (1987) obsessed weirdo. I like the funnies in life.

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