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The Slice

Posts tagged: Slice column reruns

The parka doctrine

Had a column idea and was ready to write, then I discovered that I had already said what I intended to say.

Here it is, a Slice item from Nov. 1, 2002:

Longtime Slice readers are familiar with the psychology of saving your warmest winter coat for truly frigid weather.

(“Saving” being defined locally as “Never wearing it.”)

The theory is that putting on your warmest coat leaves you with no good answer to the question, “What will I do when it gets even colder?”

Committing to your ultimate parka robs you of the peace of mind that comes with knowing you've always got one last line of defense.

But it's time to acknowledge a simple truth. The policy of holding in reserve your warmest coat only makes sense if you spend hardly any time outdoors.

Think about it. A lot of people around here spend 99.9 percent of the cold season either indoors or in a heated vehicle. They can get away with wearing skimpy jackets while their dirigible-sized super coats stay smushed in a closet.

But if you spend a fair amount of time outdoors, you don't really have the luxury of noting that the official start of winter is seven weeks away. You've got to keep from freezing.

So The Slice amends its admonition to think twice about hauling out your polar-grade survival gear. If you are going to be outdoors longer than 30 seconds, do whatever you have to do to stay warm.

Go ahead and drag out the Big Bertha in your winter-wear lineup.

And don't forget to layer.

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About this blog

Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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