It has been observed more than once that apples still clinging to tree branches in December can look like holiday ornaments. Especially with a little snow.
But there's more. At least when it is this cold.
If you take off a glove and touch one, you will discover that they feel like glass ornaments, too.
This did not take place in Spokane.
It happened to my sister-in-law the accountant, who is one of my favorite people. She lives in Michigan.
But I don't think geography played a big role. I suspect this could happen anywhere. So let this be a warning.
Last week, she was at a dress-up company Christmas party. Lots of people. From what I heard, it was an elegant affair.
My sister-in-law had a soft drink in one hand and a plate of snacks in the other.
She went to take a drink from her glass and forgot that there was a straw.
The straw went right up one of her nostrils. Not a pleasant sensation and certainly a bit embarrassing.
But it gets worse.
When my sister-in-law moved the glass away from her face, the straw remained stuck in her nose. And since both her hands were full, it took a moment of juggling to extract the offending drinking tube.
She asked the people next to her if they had witnessed her performance. They indicated that they did not know what she was talking about.
You might assume that they were just being nice. But my sister-in-law believed them.
Her theory? If they actually had seen it, they would have still been laughing.
There are countless answers, of course.
But based on my experience of doing a few errands this morning, one thing on the list is seeing me in my parka and saying, “Not riding your bike today?”
Couples/conflict continued: Dannie Loriano suggested that one source of arguments might be husbands taking just a little too much interest in the weather report when KXLY-TV's Laura Ashley is on the tube.
At least not here in Whoville on the Spokane.
The years start to become a blur.
I was thinking about cold temperatures in Spokane. And I recalled that it was pretty nippy on a Feb. 1 once. Not sure how I remember that, but I do.
But I was certain it would have been back around 1990 or 1991.
So I checked weather records for that date. And best as I can figure, I must have been recalling Feb. 1, 1996, when it was -11 degrees.
Which is pretty far off my original guess.
So let's see a show of hands.
Has this blurring of years happened to you?
It has been a few years now, but I can still recall how my phone conversation with one of the folks mentioned below entertained a couple of my colleagues.
This item appeared in The Slice column on Dec. 6, 1996.
Pet names: Nick Hofland nixed calling the family cat Honey. He couldn't see himself standing at the door, saying that in a loud voice. So his wife, Deb, agreed to a change. The new moniker? Cupcake.
And Deer Park's Sherry Lindsey has a laid-back black-and-white cat named Mr. Pussy Face.
The song “The Christmas Shoes” makes me want to harm myself and others.
“When my oldest daughter was about 6 she came home from school one day and announced that a friend told her that there was no such thing as Santa Claus,” wrote Sue Chapin. “I told her that was too bad because if you don't believe in Santa he doesn't believe in you and he quits bringing presents. She didn't ask any more questions.”
Why might Jerry Kramer's name come up in a conversation about Eastern's football game Saturday?
I am aware that there are one or two photos of felines on the Web. But this one cracked me up.
Something tells me that if you said “Get out of there” to that animal, it would not obey.
This was the No. 1 song when you arrived. It would be played in your honor in sports arenas all across America for years.
I always liked this song. But when I was 14, I assumed the performers were black. Must have thought it sounded like a Motown record or something. See if it sounds that way to you.
Just heard from a friend. He had a question.
“I have a winter coat question not everyone would understand. But I think you will.
“It is 12 degrees right now. Do I break out my giant Eddie Bauer down coat? It's very warm, certainly, but if I go all the way to that coat, I won't have any reserve left. This coat is my nuclear option (my nuclear winter option?).
“Will I be screwed if I wear it at 12 degrees, and it subsequently drops to zero or 12 below? Is that like a gymnastics judge awarding a perfect 10, only to discover the next Romanian kid bounces even higher?
“This kind of over-thinking is why, nine winters out of 10, I never wear my Eddie Bauer coat even once. That, and the fact it makes me look like an upright sleeping bag, toddling down Riverside.”
It's a good question. I used to be a big believer in always having a heavier coat in reserve…just in case.
Lately, though, I have been willing to haul out the Big Bertha parka early in the season, purely in the name of comfort. That's what I did today.
But what would you tell my friend?
“We moved down here from Fairbanks two years ago and I thought we would never need our car heater plug-ins again,” wrote Thom Foote of Colbert. “People always ask us what the electrical cord hanging out of the grille of our vehicles is for. Now I'm glad we didn't get rid of them.”
Had not thought about those in a while.
My dad used a plug-in when we lived on Michigan's Upper Peninsula for a couple of years. Can't remember if it connected to the dip stick or attached to a heating element elsewhere on the engine block. But everyone had them.
Should the SR make that its style until the recount is completed?
Of course, not.
But in other insanity, someone over on the newspaper's Facebook page dredged up the always delightful “Socialist Review.”
A Spokane classic. Ludicrous and forehead-slappingly unknowing. But a classic nonetheless.
There is an excellent chance that it will not melt.
Though I suppose the heated transfer facility/warehouse could be an issue if those working there overcompensate for frigid outdoor temperatures.