Note: In memory of the Polar Vortex and its toll on my friends and family, before I start things off, I’d like to post some chilling photos of its devastation:
ONE DAY I’m going to sit my children down and tell them about the Polar Vortex.
Eyes wide as very small ostrich eggs but also regular sized robin’s eggs, they’ll lean in. “Polar…Vortex? Wow. That sounds insane.”
Me: “In the membrane. I think everybody remembers where they were when the Polar Vortex hit.”
Them: “So where were you?”
Me: “Probably in bed. I spent a lot of time there.”
Them: “Did you –”
Me: “Okay yes I was eating chocolate icing out of a Buzz Lightyear cup.”
Them: “That’s not –”
Me: “Okay yes, I was also drinking wine straight from the bottle with a sour straw. You ask too many questions.”
Them, being little dicks: “Geez dad, were you ever a real person?”
Them, yet again: “Okay, well we’re going to assume that the polar vortex was some sort of…twister filled with polar bears?”
Me: “Not quite.”
Them: “A blizzard? A huge snow storm? A flood caused by a sudden melting of the polar ice caps? A real-live Mortal Kombat villain-triggered catastrophe?!”
Me: “None of that.
But, I mean, it was really cold.”
Me: “Yeah, but really cold. Like…mega cold. Nothing was dropped but the temperature. It just wasn’t hot enough.
Me, trying to save face in front of my children: “I mean, I swear I got frostbite.”
Them, tongues lolling: “You got frostbite?!”
Me: “Well, I swear I basically did. I was so numb. Plus, our thermostat was acting up, and wouldn’t go over 55 degrees.”
Them, scratching their necks: “So…did you see any of your friends hurt or injured?
Me: “My roommate slipped while getting pizza from the Domino’s biker delivery guy. It apparently [exaggerated air quotes with my prosthetic hand*] ‘Hurt like a bitch.’ ”
Them: “What’s a…bitch?”
Quick side-note: You should know that my children at this point are 20 years old, but children are difficult, so thanks to futuristic science, I had their minds and spirits transferred to much more manageable poodle bodies instead of messy human ones. And it’s a well known future fact that poodle-children can’t physically process profanity, so there’s that.
Me, ignoring the question: Y’know, I did hear about a pizza delivery guy who died that week from getting hit by a car. That could have been our guy.
Poodle-Children: YIP YIP.
Me: That’s a good point. I suffered too much through that week to think about others. Besides, I’ve seen enough photos of suffering during the Polar Vortex. It was just really insensitive for Gillette to come out with a Polar Vortex line of aftershave. And for Icee to come out with a Polar Vortex flavored drink. And, now that I think about it, for me to name you guys Polar Vortex and Frozen Cyclone.
Although, not so much, because those names are badass.
Polar Vortex and Frozen Cyclone, looking sad and far-away: So many frozen coffees that weren’t supposed to be frozen coffees.
Me: I don’t even want to think about it.
Children: So don’t. Is there even any point in lingering on topics that make you feel unpleasant?
Me: I certainly doubt it.
Children: Have you ever tried actually stealing candy from a baby? It gets a bad rap.
Me: Yeah, and they’re just swimming in the stuff. The very fact that babies and candy is a ubiquitously paired thing means that it should probably be taken from them.
Children: Wait a second. Are we actually your children or just figments of your imagination, here to validate your self-doubt and general life of assholery?
Me: Probably the first one.
Children?: Then why did we actually just suggest stealing candy from a baby?
Me: Eat your treats and shut up. It was really #*&@ing cold, alright? A bunch of other people were trying to speed up global warming during the Polar Vortex, too.
Children?: Wait, what year is it? It’s like 2015, isn’t it? You’re only 25, and this whole thing is a product of your overactive imagination, isn’t it? Get a girlfriend or some–
Me: I have treats!!
Imaginary Poodle-Children: Ooh!!
The moral of this story? I will die alone.
* A prosthetic hand that I will carry around with my real hands at all times in case I need to make really exaggerated air quotes.