Part I: It’s cold. It’s freezing. We’ve been saying the same two sentences all week long. Tired of repeating the same old hackneyed phrases? Here are some more colorful alternatives:
The Brassy Option
It’s colder than a witch’s teat in a brass bra.
It’s colder than a brass toilet seat on the shady side of an iceberg.
It’s cold enough to freeze the tail* off a brass monkey. *(Frequently substituted with spherically shaped male part of the anatomy).
It’s colder than a gravedigger’s shovel.* (Frequently substituted with word that rhymes with “brass”).
The Classy Option
“When the breath freezes into ice dust and falls almost silently to the ground, Siberians call it the whisper of stars.” from David K. Shipler’s Russia: Broken Idols, Solemn Dreams.
Part II: It could always be worse:
Here’s a reading suggestion that will put your shivering into perspective. Evgenii Zamiatin’s short story “The Cave” is about a couple trying to survive in an unheated apartment in the dead of winter. Post-revolutionary Petrograd is depicted as a prehistoric landscape of glaciers and woolly mammoths. The bitter cold drives the couple to desperate acts. The story is deeply depressing, of course. It is Russian literature after all. I know this doesn’t sound like much of a recommendation, but it’s a great story and I can guarantee you it will make you feel like you’re not so cold after all…If you have access to JSTOR, you can read the full text there for free. Otherwise, it’s in The Portable Twentieth-Century Russian Reader.
I spent the four coldest years of my life during my college days in frigid New Hampshire. I would run as fast as I could between classes trying to minimize my exposure…and there are very few things I hate more than running. As soon as the air hit my face, my ears would burn with an icy fire. The snot dripping from my nose would turn into miniature icicles. My eyes would start to water, the tears would freeze my eyelashes, and I would hear an icy tinkle every time I blinked. At least it’s not that cold…unless you’re reading this in New Hampshire.
It’s been widely reported recently that it’s colder in Winnipeg than it is on the surface of Mars. Again: no comfort at all if you happen to be reading this in Winnipeg.
And for more perspective…at least we didn’t get 26 inches of snow like we did in 2009!
Stay warm out there and have a wonderful weekend!