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West: Extreme weather real adventure

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By MIKE WEST

Usually the weather report goes in one ear and out the other. The first cup of coffee is much more important.
Really I wish the TV weather people would confine their reports to 10 words or less as if.... "Hi 56 and low 36." All that other information tends to just rattle round my brain and I find myself wondering what the local weather is supposed to be.

However, last week the weather reports got keen attention. Yup, the predicted low of 5 degrees made me start looking for winter clothes as in "best" gloves, warm hat and insulated underwear.

When it comes to gloves, I have several pairs of different styles ranging from farm gloves to fancy leather gloves. Unfortunately, most of those gloves are arranged in odd groupings of non-matching ones like a Carhartt snow glove paired with a lightweight knit glove. Earlier this season, I reached into the glove box and pulled out two left-handed gloves, which presented quite a dilemma.

But this time, I was ready for the cold weather. A brand-new pair of heavy, waterproof, Thinisulate gloves was waiting on the closet shelf along with some heavy woolen socks. Yep, I was ready for the cold weather ....
Except .... Where was my insulated underwear?

I easily found my two or three old pairs of insulated drawers, but they were beat all to heck and more importantly were much tooooooo small. Believe me, there are few things less comfortable than too tight insulated underwear.
My one "good" pair was no place to be found.

It wasn't in the closet nor were the warm drawers in my chest of drawers. Dang it. I was left with only one option and that was asking my "significant other." She, of course, knew exactly where they were. Didn't even have to think about it.

"Remember what I told you?" she asked.

Nope, of course not...

"Remember where your sweatshirts are?" she quizzed.

In my closet? Nope.

"Remember where your warm pajamas are?" she snapped.

(I almost said "on the bedroom floor," but common sense won out that time. So I just nodded my head no.)

"Follow me," she ordered.

There they were on the top shelf of my clothes rack. All neatly folded, fresh and clean .... Duh, it all came back to me.

"Much obliged," was all I could say.

It's rough being an idiot.

But all was left was putting on all those layers including an undershirt, a warm flannel shirt, a zip-up sweater and my big leather coat.

You ever seen that old movie, "The Christmas Story?" The one with the kid who wanted a BB-gun for Christmas??
You know it... It's the story of little Ralphie and his "Red Ryder carbine-action, 200 shot Range Model air rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time."

Remember, the "major prize" won by Ralphie's dad. The prize was a lamp in the shape of a leg wearing a fishnet stocking. This Christmas a nearby home had that "major prize" posted in the middle of its picture window. Great!
Ok, now think back and remember Ralphie's little brother, Randy, and now his mom dressed him to go to school in the cold weather. He had so many layers on that he couldn't even bend his arms.

Yep, ready for the cold weather, I was a little bit like ol' Randy and could barely crawl into the car much less fasten the seat belt.

At least there was no Scut Farkus (neighborhood bully) ready to jump me on the way to work. I was way overdressed for any fist-fighting.

Naturally, my cell phone (which was under untold layers) began to ring. I just let it go. My caller left a message, which naturally beeped throughout my drive to work. (It was a blankedly-blank solicitor.)

The rest of my trip was pretty anti-climatic. No sweat.

No problemo!

I am completely prepared for winter ... which means warm weather can't be too far away.

Which reminds me ... I've got to get my heating/cooling system repaired before it hits 100 degrees this summer.

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