Think it's cold in SC? Time for you to duck, my friend

features@islandpacket.comFebruary 10, 2014 


File this under "things that don't happen in South Carolina." Pictured, Michael Angelo Chavez has fun while his mother Ana runs a snowblower outside of their Wichita, Kan.

TRAVIS HEYING — McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Cold is stupid.

You already know this, because you live here. Cold is murderous and dry and holds grudges. It makes your eyes sting when you blink, makes city buses sploosh sopping wet snow on your pant legs. It is responsible for slush, which is frequently brown. It makes materials in your nose that are usually not liquid anymore, and it makes these not-liquids freeze in your nostrils, which is a feeling that never gets less weird. It is also indicative of January, traffic problems and Green Bay Packers football.

And that's just basic, everyday cold, not the kind currently descended upon most of the United States that is not Texas, which, let's face it, is barely part of the United States anyway. This kind of cold is a crazypants cold, a kind that we should probably create a Cabinet-level czar to whine about appropriately, the kind that makes your mother cry (or, in my case, curse on Facebook), the kind that forces you, on a walk out to get the mail, to stop on your way back and construct a small fort where you can hide for a while.

Luckily, it's not cold here, where you are. Here, it's perpetual Memorial Day; it's like 60 and delightful and birds are singing and trees are dancing and fruits are blooming and mosquitoes are spawning, blah blah blah, circle of life. Besides, South Carolina doesn't get cold. South Carolina gets the kind of cold that would make people from Chicago punch Carolina locals in the mouth for presuming to use the word "cold" to describe the not-cold that is called cold here.

Well, GOOD FOR YOU. I'm not here, see, I'm in the Midwest, where I drove, with two kids, on purpose, knowing that my journey would begin in meteorological comfort and end in a place so cold that it freezes people's eyes, makes them bring electric blankets into their showers and construct little tents around their heating vents. (Note: This practice is not recommended by the HVAC repairmen who show up to your house for "dangerously blocked air flow" or whatever. Boy those guys talk a lot about "common sense" and "What's wrong with you?" and "It's a wonder this place hasn't burned down already.")

Some of you will argue the opposite. Some of you will argue that hot is stupid, but as a wise friend once told me, "You don't have to shovel the hot." He told me this while I lived in Chicago and he lived in Florida, so needless to say, we are no longer friends.

There are a lot of things I forgot you had to do with kids when it's cold, things you forget when you live in a beachside resort community. Things like: 1. Put gloves on both their hands! and 2. Make sure they're wearing socks (sometimes two socks) and 3. Put waterproof boots on them. Waterproof boots! These kids today don't know how good they have it; when I was little, my socks were sopping wet at all times and we didn't complain because that was during the Depression.

Everything about the cold is worsened with kids. They have school delays for flurries, they leave damp pockets of leftover snow all over your car's floor mats. They make you have snowball fights with them, then get upset when you accidentally hit them in the head with one. (Sorry again, little man.) They make you carry them -- my youngest will not consent to being put down to walk on snow, so I've spent a few days carrying around a whimpering bundle of toddler in an oversized blue coat, whose frozen snot was conveniently at my eye level.

So be happy where you are today, people, in your humid comfort, walking around outside with normal shoes on, where no one hoards bread ever. Be thankful that all you have to fear is hurricanes, Palmetto bugs and coastal shark attacks. At least until it gets hot again.

Jeff Vrabel was kidding about the Depression thing, just clearing that up. Follow him at and read more at


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