It got really cold last week


In case you didn’t notice, thermometers went on the blink last week and made it cold.
It was so cold here a man accidentally put his hand in his wood burning stove and got frostbitten. At least no one around here caught a cold, since the germs couldn’t take the low temperatures and all flew south.

It used to be I’d make fun of the weathermen for over-dramatizing about the wind and weather, but not this time. I don’t believe in global warming anymore, and certainly not local warming. Poor El Niño — by now it’s probably somewhere out in the Pacific crying for its Mamá.
Groundhog Punxsutawney Phil said that spring was just around the corner — at which, he dove back into his hole in the ground and put on his earmuffs and snout guard. The corner around which spring allegedly lurks sounds like a coroner’s corner — dead in its tracks.
If your heat went out, it wasn’t funny. I had to go out to the dog house in the backyard and sleep with Cholo, and he didn’t appreciate that. I don’t think he’d ever heard a human snore. My nephew Tike spent his time on SecondLife and told me he became an avatar lifeguard on the beach in Acapulco, but he had to return because he froze his willies off there.
At work the boss let us come late and leave early, to manage the ice and snow. Being a conscientious worker, I complied. On the highway home, people were driving at 30 miles per hour. You would have thought they were en route to a Lawrence Welk concert. I played it safe and honked my horn really loud before passing them on the packed snow.
We all let faucets drip, which probably depleted the aquifer, but we had to. And we turned on space heaters strategically placed near water pipes and drains, running up electric bills. Some had pipes break anyway, and plumbers no doubt got little sleep. It was fun to see how many blankets we could pile on top of us without falling off, but eventually they seemed to reach the ceiling. We’ve always been told that electric blankets were not good for you, but lately we’ve been using the electric ones, battery and cable connected ones, and those powered by Aunt Jemima Syrup, if there were any.
One night the wind-chill was -19, which means it felt like 19 buckets of ice cream were actually nestled about you as you climbed into bed. Everything seemed like it was happening all at once. Pipes were freezing, floors were flooding with water, natural gas ran out, the electricity went off, and someone took the last bag of popcorn to their room before we could chase them down. Even Martha Stewart recommended the hot dog as her top culinary treat of the week.
That hyper-active Channel 13 weatherman ran out of steam once and had nothing to say for at least 5 seconds. The Weather Channel on television was named the official sponsor of the NFL, right about the time part of the roof collapsed at Cowboy stadium and 13 cars in the parking lot collapsed from the weight of frozen booze at tail gate parties before the big game.
The cause of it all was the Arctic air that moved across the nation to fill the vacuum brought on by Rush Limbaugh’s departure for vacation in Singapore. Weathermen said that once the air was here, a high-pressure low interacted with moisture above and, from there, the arrows, diverse colors, flashing dots, and swirling clouds all combined to create a jumble it would take somebody even smarter than a fifth grader to figure out.
Experts are warning everyone to avoid breathing when outdoors, as the breath vapors could accumulate and cause cell phones to start shivering and eventually sound like rap music, leading to mass hysteria. Mayor Bhasker had to declare Socorro a disaster emergency, though later it was discovered he did that because he’d burnt the toast, spilled the coffee, and accidently dumped the scrambled eggs all over the cat.
It got cold last week. It brought us all together, shivering in unison like one big family.

Kozeny works for Socorro Mental Health Inc. His views are not necessarily those of his employer. He can be reached by e-mail to