Fire & Ice

I realized today that I’ve never come across a “would you rather” I couldn’t answer. Either I’m very sure of myself or I’m so confident in not needing to be sure that I’m sure of whatever I choose. I think it’s the latter, but I’ll reflect on that alone while I tell you a boring story…

I was at the grocery getting food from the buffet and I mentioned to my friend that I’d rather be hot than cold any day of the week. Some guy, also getting food, turned to me and said, “It’s actually better to be cold. Think about it. When you’re hot, there’s only so much you can take off.”

A few things…

One, who are you?

Two, it was interesting that he immediately jumped to removing your clothes when there are plenty of ways to deal with heat, like turning on the air conditioner or using a fan. Having a cool drink, a cold shower, or a dip in the lake near the abandoned quarry where locals hear tell of strange noises coming from the stones.

Don’t get me wrong. We all wear less when it’s hot, and shedding is the only form of relief that doesn’t require additional resources, so I think he was right to go there first. His tone just made it sound like he walks down the street all whoooooa, it’s really hot! Better start stripping! But darn, my options are limited. That’s the trouble with heat, ya’ know! There’s only so much you can take off!

My thing about being cold – besides the fact that it’s fucking terrible – is that it takes much longer to get warm than it does to cool down. I haven’t stacked that statement up against fact in a scientific capacity, though. Only anecdotal, since it’s been my personal experience that it’s true and it’s what I’ve observed in others.

When I’m burning up and I step in front of an air conditioner or stick my head in a freezer, that sensation of being too hot goes away the second that wintry gust hits my skin and all the telltale signs of having been too hot – like sweating – immediately subside.

On the other hand, when I’m freezing and I step in front of a heater or fire, I feel its warmth, but it takes a while for me to stop shivering and chattering. And if any part of me has already succumbed to frostbite, the heat would do fuck all for it anyway. It could even make it worse.

Then there’s my opinion that a young, healthy person like myself is far likelier to die from hypothermia than heatstroke given the average temperatures I’d encounter in my environment and the fact that getting to help when you’re a fucking popsicle seems like it’d be more difficult than if your brains are on the verge of being scrambled.

I guess what I’m saying is that while neither extreme is desirable, generally speaking, being hot is awesome and anyone who’d rather be cold just because they can’t get any more naked than naked should eat their food and shut up.