Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Benefits of Cold #1 - Zip It Up

Like most dudes and dudettes in Michigan, I am regularly confronted by the greatest friend of winter and enemy to basic decency, the cold. The month of January has brought near-record cold to Michigan and the cold streak seems to be enduring forever and ever and ever (amen). Walking to and from one’s car for work or errands is painful enough, let alone my incredibly stupid running adventures in the dark when the weather is 15 degrees and the ground is coated with ice or snow. One of the things people most regularly knock when they knock Michigan (it’s an artificial insult, but an insult nonetheless) is that it’s just “too cold” in Michigan. You’re right, cold-hating individual, but there are some significant cold-related benefits that I feel you are overlooking. Today I begin the first in my new series I have affectionately titled “The Benefits of Cold.” I don’t know how long the series is going to be because right now I can only think of one main benefit, but that is enough for today.

Have you ever really looked closely at the functionality of a zipper? Zippers are amazing. In one second, they provide no barrier or containment whatsoever, and one moment later with the virtual flick of a wrist, the zipper is locked with extreme enforcement and can go miles in keeping you warm. Zippers also keep your valuables relatively safe from prying hands and suitcases would be far more annoying in the absence of zippers. They are the perfect device – simple, useful, and interlocking.

However, there is an evil side to zippers. That side is the (hopefully) rare instances in which a gentleman gets distracted by something, and accidentally forgets to return the zipper to the “up” position. It is a silly and harmless occurrence, but it still provides embarrassment, and it is almost impossible to take someone seriously if he has happened to leave his zipper down. It happens.

And this is where the cold saves the day. More than a few times over the past couple years, I have stepped outside to walk to my car and things have felt a little extra…breezy and cold. The containment field has been breached, and the additional cold highlights the error of my ways. Sure enough, I glance down to try to figure out why I’m feeling a little extra chill in the bones, and sure enough, it is because I have left my zipper down. The relative warmth of non-winter does not alert me to this emergency situation because the zipper area is generally far more accustomed to this type of warmth. There are many reasons to love the warmer seasons, but only winter reminds me I need to do a better job of keeping the business warm.

On that note, I have written more about pants over the last two days than the aggregate total of the rest of my life up to this point.

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