The Slice: Don’t let winter catch you with your pants down

TUESDAY, OCT. 13, 2009

I think I know why winter throws some Spokane residents for a loop.

They don’t have their cold-weather coats arranged by color-coded threat levels.

So when frigid conditions arrive, they aren’t ready. They’re confused about what to wear.

That agonizing uncertainty can be avoided with a little planning. Assuming you are fortunate enough to have choices, just sit down with your family and decide ahead of time which coats are appropriate for which conditions.

That way, part of your closet space can be dedicated to, say, Code Orange coats, while another section can be reserved for the heavy duty Code Red apparel.

Or if you prefer the city of Spokane model, you can label your light jackets “Stage 1,” your medium-weight coats “Stage 2,” and so on.

Then the first person to get up in the morning can check the temperature/wind-chill and post the appropriate color or number on the fridge.

If all that sounds too bureaucratic, you can create your own winter preparedness terminology.

For instance…

HARVEST MOON: Nip in the air and frost on the pumpkin. Light jackets should suffice.

TV NEWS PEOPLE ARE FREAKING OUT: Mild chill and a dusting of snow. Medium jackets will be fine.

MONTANA: Below freezing all day. Calls for substantial coats.

TEENAGERS WILL CONSIDER NOT BEING COOL: Real-thing cold. Calls for serious people to wear serious coats.

OH THE HUMANITY: Bitter, biting temps and spear-like winds. Get out the parkas.

POINT OF NO RETURN: It’s so punishing out that you might want to consider donning the ultra-max coats you swore never to actually wear because you regarded them as your psychological hedge against the fact that it can always get worse.

Today’s Slice question: Who would you want to play you in a movie?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; fax (509) 459-5098; e-mail pault@spokesman.com. Ever bobbed for apples?

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