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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Wherein I Defend How I Define "Fun"

A re-post, while I freckle-up and get just a little blonder before I return to Minnesota...


You know how people say “well, it’s the little things…” and somewhere in the back of your head you find yourself thinking, “Sheesh. That phrase is so old…”?

You know why it’s old?

Because it’s true, dagnabit! It is the little things; and by golly if I have to defend that cliché, I will!

And you know how I feel about clichés, don't you? Why, I avoid them like the plague...

And so I came across one of these "little things" just the other day: my leg-warmers. I’ve been encasing my legs from ankle to mid-thigh in a pair of gray, cable-knit leggings since October now and will no doubt keep them on until all threat of frost has passed, sometime in June.

I keed! I keed! We should be safe from hypothermia by May…

Think of it! Mother Nature wants to kill me. Why, at this very moment, not only am I wearing the foundation garments you would expect on any reasonable female, but also leggings, socks, pants – er, trousers – a camisole, a shirt, a scarf, and a jacket.

And frankly, I feel a little under-dressed, as the jacket’s sleeves are only three-quarters’ length.

The best part about wearing leg warmers, though?

When you finally take them off, wearing only – gasp! – pants, you feel scandalously naked.

Hee! Hee! Hee! No one knows that under my pants my legs are naked!

Oh, and that snickering you hear right now? It’s my readers from across the pond. Apparently the word “pants” to them means “underwear”.

Hee! Hee!


But you know what’s even better than cable-knit leg-warmers?

Are you familiar with driving in the winter, the massive amounts of salty snow and ice that collect within a car’s wheel wells?

Why is the snow salty? Oh, it’s a little service provided by the State of Minnesota. The salt ensures that the ice will melt and that your car will rust properly. No, no, no! No need to thank them. It’s part of what a full-service state will do.

But back to the slush.

When you drive in the snow, loads and loads of it ends up in your wheel wells where it freezes into clumps.

And those clumps, my friends, once you’ve pulled into a parking lot, are an absolute delight to kick from the car. A couple of good kicks and there it goes, hills of filthy ice and snow fall with a satisfying splat.

All across the Great State of Minnesota, parking lots fill with dirty piles of kicked-off car droppings.

So the next time you’re wondering, why in the world do people even bother living in states where the weather tries to kill them with the cold?

Now you know.

Because we love the feeling of kicking large clumps of snow off from under our cars.

And in the summer, we feel like we’re naked.

34 comments:

Shelly said...

I am wearing multiple layers of clothing right now, topped off with my blingy jacket because the temperature is supposed to dip down into the 70's today. I could never be the hearty soul you are. Enjoy your time in the sun~ :)

Pearl said...

:-) Shelly. I do enjoy the long pants and jackets down south! I used to think it was a fashion thing -- you know, you guys have these jackets that you rarely get to wear... Come to find out that the people in the south really ARE cold when the temp is in the 70s! ha ha!

Y'all are so cute. :-) Kiss!

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

We Canadians are car shit kickers too. This winter has been disappointing....no need to kick as yet.

Eva Gallant said...

Here in southern Maine, we have only had two snowstorms that amounted to about 6 inches each, and the first storm snow was long ago melted before we got the second one. It's been a strange winter so far!

Pearl said...

Delores and Eva, I have to admit we are lacking snow in Minneapolis as well. Rather disappointing, although I will need you to remind me that I was disappointed when we get that two-foot snow assault in March...

Joe Pereira said...

My eybrows arched when I read "No one knows that under my pants my legs are naked!" I can't conceive the idea of pants covering the legs - unless they're longjohns - of course you meant trousers :)

Nice post Pearl. Where I live there is no snow but I wish there was, for a week or two of the year.I'd like to kick ice clumps off my my car instead of the usual seagull droppings.

Tom G. said...

When we were kids we used to collect the biggest car pies we could find and use them as goal posts in our games of street hockey. Just a further example of how resourceful you learn to be when Mother Nature is always trying to kill you.

Pearl said...

Joe, I don't know why, but the word "trousers" has always amused me. :-)

Tom, when Nature tries to kill you in such long, drawn-out attempts as winter, you just have to laugh. And drink beer. And then laugh some more.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

You're right! It is one of life's small pleasures--I LOVE kicking the snow out of the tire wells--in some one else's parking lot, of course. Would hate to shovel those chunks out of MY driveway...

esbboston said...

I did not know that "dagnabit" was a single word, but strange things happen to words here in Texas. I was suddenly thinking that a cartoon character used that word freak-quently, was it Yosemite Sam?

Kavi said...

Ah ! What a feel summer gives. Doesnt it !?! ;)

;)

Wonderful post as usual Pearl.

Pat said...

No snow here. I feel deprived but I do have leg warmers - somewhere - with my old yoga clobber.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Pearl...mom used to call pants/trousers "slacks"...no idea why.

Susan in the Boonies said...

The irony here of posting a post about legwarmers while you are freckling up and blonding out is NOT lost on me.

Are you a strawberry blonde like me? I sense we have similar coloring genes.

jenny_o said...

Here in east coast Canada we usually have those snow clumps in our wheel wells too - but not this winter, yet. I'm sure it's coming, though!

esbboston said...

It appears that the interjection 'dagnabbit' comes from Elmer Fudd, a euphemistic contraction of 'dang rabbit'.

bill lisleman said...

kicking those clumps off before they melt and refreeze on the garage floor is good thing but honestly I would rather not deal with them. Playing in the sand is much nicer than the slush.

Symdaddy said...

I knew what you meant, Pearlchen, so knickers to your pants!

Talking of fun ... I had a lovely time over at the D For Dog forum winding them all up! It was sooooo easy.

Joanne said...

The post office chat this morning concerned the dagnabit weather. I put the goost comforter on my bed in October and take it off in May, but it so relentlessly raw right now I may snag the comforter off the guest bed, too.

Belle said...

Kicking that clump of snow off the car does give one a satisfying feeling. Weird! I should get some leg warmers. I've never worn them but I bet they help.

Pearl said...

Green Girl, you’ve hit upon an integral aspect of the snow-clump removal process: one never does it in one’s own driveway – or the driveway of a friend. That there’s just bad manners.

Esbboston, you are absolutely right! Honestly, I had no idea that it was short for “dang rabbit”. That’s awesome!

Kavi, I shall wax rhapsodic about spring and summer and fall the minute they get here as well. That’s the best part of four seasons: getting Just About Enough of one only to have another show up!

Pat, I simply cannot live without my legwarmers. World of difference.

Susan, :-) I am definitely in the melanin-challenged sphere of coloring, and could probably be bleached to a bright blonde in less than a month in the Florida sun. There really is a difference down there, isn’t there?!

Jenny-o, honestly, there’s not much here either. It’s been a really weird winter; and although I don’t miss the cold, there is something wrong about Minnesota without snow. We had just under 90 inches by the end of last winter, and I think we’re somewhere around six (melted) now. It ain’t right.
Bill, oh, we act like we don’t mind, but inside we Minnesotans are a seething tornado of seasonal irritability. :-) No, that’s not true. Us natives expect it. Until we turn about 65, wherein we suddenly realize just how much WORK winter is, sell our stuff, and move south.

Symdaddy, I’m going to have to check that out. :-) I imagine you can be quite the rabble-rouser when you want to be!!

Joanne, so THAT’s where all our winter went! We’ve hovered around the 30 degree mark most of the season, which, of course, is nice, but still!!

Belle, oh, you have to get some. Seriously. It’s one of those things where you’ll put them on and go “Huh! These are really nice!” Day and night, Belle. You don’t realize how cold your little legs make everything until you put the legwarmers on.

Crystal Pistol said...

I like when you write "hee hee". It makes me feel youthful and jovial. Hee hee. It makes want to actually SAY hee hee. People don't say hee hee enough. That's what i say.

Also, I feel as though you are speaking a language foreign to me when you refer to snow, slush, sleet and leg warmers. Desert rats have no use for such words. I'll bet you're cute in leg warmers though. :)

Pearl said...

Crystal, the more layers you wear, the cuter you get. The Great White North is chock full of really cute people. :-)

And to that I will add: frostbite, chilblains, Frozen Eyeball Syndrome, and the concept that one would wear leggings, yoga pants, sock, slippers, a long-sleeved shirt and a sweater in one's own home and possibly still be cold.

Hee hee. :-)

The Elephant's Child said...

From one of our homes we travelled along a dirt road to reach work. In the right season we kicked clay piles from the wheel arches. Does that count?

Gigi said...

I've never had the pleasure of kicking snow out of my wheel wells since when it snows here the whole town closes down and we don't drive anywhere.

And yes, when it gets below 70 we (or I should say I, since the people I live with don't seem to mind freezing) tend to "layer up." They laugh at me walking around in a sweater, with another one on top, complaining about how darn cold it is!

Nope, I could never survive a "true" winter.

JohnD said...

Not sure that pants means underwear in OZ. Ladies underwear is often referred to as panties and men's trousers are sometimes called pants but mostly 'Daks' and men's underwear is, naturally, "Under-daks".

Any hoo - sitting here in my Ttrakkie-Daks and a short sleeved cotton shirt and I'm feeling over-dressed. Time to strip down to shorts (i.e. cotton short trousers) and a blue bond's sleeveless singlet and lounge lizard the cricket Test on TV from Adelaide where they are playing in 35C (95F) LOL!

Sarah said...

Hell yes, kicking snow off the wheel wells and cracking that thin ice over puddles in the morning or evening are some of the best parts about winter.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Pearl .. Kicking snow from wheel arches - now you could have come over the pond last year and tried that here! Then you'd have been right to wear all that clothing .. now - it's unseasonably warm .. but you'd need your pants at least - or borstal might follow. But boy boy am I glad it's not that cold here! Cheers Hilary

River said...

I'm smilng at the image of all Minnesotans rugged up like Eskimos while I sit here wearing only 3 tiny items and have the fan blowing on me.

You need to kick the piles of snow under the tailpipe if you want to properly call them car droppings.

Oz has many words for underwear:-pants, panties, underpants, knickers, jocks, underdaks.

IndigoWrath said...

Pants! *snicker* Pants! Pants! PANTS! *falls over in a fit of manly chuckling*

Craver Vii said...

Forgive the urban platitude but, go ahead get your freckle on, girl.

Hmmm... that doesn't work for me; does it?

About feeling under-clothed--I totally get it. I once checked on a tenant who complained about the cold. This was during a Chicago winter. I had the layers like any sensible person who lives up North. This lady opened up the door, and I saw three generations of people who were underclad, not just for the season, but for company. My eyes are still burning from the shock.

Now hurry back here, and get some proper clothes on.

Jo-Anne's Rambling said...

I came over from a Green Girl's blog and wow what a post do people really wear that many clothes even in winter here I get hot in a pair of Trackie daks..........lol

Patience_Crabstick said...

I love kicking the snow out from under my car too. I grew up in Buffalo, NY, a snow-kicker's paradise. Equally enjoyable: when thick ice is coating your windshield, and your defroster is running and melting the ice against the glass, peeling giant hunks of ice off the window.

Minnesota Matron said...

Brilliant. Perhaps you know my secret? I actually kick clumps of snow off of other people's tires in parking lots. But I look around to see if people are watching me first.