Brian Matuszak column: It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature, but it is OK to poke a little funSo I’ve got an important decision coming up, the ramifications of which could have a tremendous impact on not only me, but on my entire community.
So I’ve got an important decision coming up, the ramifications of which could have a tremendous impact on not only me, but on my entire community.
Therefore, I can’t make this decision lightly. It must be approached with careful thought and deliberation. And if you think I’m referring to city council elections or school tax levies, you’re as wrong as WDSM on-air staff heading up an enunciation seminar. No, the choice I’ve got to make is of far greater consequence:
The Winter Coat Commitment.
Every autumn here in the Northland, the weather shifts positions faster than John Boehner at a Tea Party rally. You look out the window and it’s 30 above with sunny skies. You walk out the door and it’s 30 below with sleet scratching your corneas.As September starts to morph into October, Mother Nature becomes her own version of a Batman villain: Two-Faced Weather Tease. She allows the welcome warmth and coziness of late summer to linger, causing you to venture outside sporting nothing but a light jacket, shorts, sandals, and a smile. But then she’ll turn around and unload a winter blast that leaves you chipping out your ice-encrusted appendages with a pickaxe.
This year, it’s no different. We’ve had just enough nice October days for me to put off switching over to my heavy winter coat. I’ve been caught a couple of times already by a teeth-chattering wind-switch off the lake or a sun-suck-
ing blanket of clouds that quickly covers the sky.
Sure, it’s uncomfortable but I have to be absolutely sure that winter is here to stay before I dust off and wear that end-of-year jacket. (Although, since I wore it into May, it’s really not that dusty.)
Once I make that choice, there’s no turning back. It’s a huge undertaking to have to unload the cell phone, keys, wallet, breath mints, day planner, business cards, and lip balm from my lighter fall jacket into the padded mammoth bulk of the winter coat. I refuse to move all those accoutrements back and forth because Mother Nature can’t make up her mind. Heck, I can’t even spell “accoutrements”!
Some years, I’ve made the transition too soon and I’m stuck waddling to work in a thick layer of Thinsulate and sweat. Other years, I’ve held on too long and frozen the plumbing, if you know what I mean.
That’s why it’s always crucial to guess correctly. It’s hard enough getting co-workers to tolerate me on a good day. Toss in the uncertainty of dealing with either a sweat-slicked Brian or a frostbitten Brian and I’m lucky to avoid a meeting with Human Resources before Thanksgiving.
But this year, so far, so good. I haven’t yet made the crossover; the double-layered look of light Columbia jacket with fleece underneath continues to delay the inevitable. But I know the day is coming when the full winter conversion must occur and I will, indeed, make the Winter Coat Commitment.
And when that happens, I can guarantee you one thing: we’ll have ten days of above-normal temperatures.
Brian Matuszak is the founder of Rubber Chicken Theater, and invites you to follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/rchickentheater or like him on Facebook at Rubber Chicken Theater. He also has to make the call to abandon his summer baseball cap and switch to the ear-covered comfort of the winter wooly hat. He used to rely on earmuffs but they broke in an embarrassing attempt to prove his head was not as wide as his co-workers claimed.