Here I am, working graveyard shift on the drawbridge on the coldest night of the year so far. The tenderhouse is suspended 25 feet above the roadway and right in the center of the river for maximum wind chill. The floor is a steel plate with questionable insulation, so the cold radiates through my feet, past the badly healed broken bone, and right up to my ankles.
What’s more, the wind is howling like a banshee, and it feels as if there is no glass in the windows. Oh, but there is. I know, because I can see the frost that’s already starting to accumulate.
Days like this it’s hard to get out of bed, particularly since my two dogs give off such wonderful body heat. It’s like having two little space heaters snuggled up against me. This is the time of year when they really earn their keep. They’re probably still in bed as I write this, huddled under 6 layers of blankets, snoring contentedly while I freeze my a** off. I thought of them as I walked the 700 steps (believe me, I’ve counted) from my car to the tenderhouse, as the wind tried to rip off my hat and fling it into the river. The things I do to keep them in dog food!
Before I left the house, I had to let the dogs out to do their business. I put a coat on my Italian Greyhound. No, I’m not one of those people who delights in dressing my dogs up in humiliating little outfits. It’s just that when you have a dog with zero body fat and a very thin coat of hair, when the weather is this cold, if he’s not bundled up he’s likely to take two steps out the door, get a sense of the temperature, do an abrupt about-face and make his deposit on the living room carpet.
But, as usual, I digress.
The point of this entry, I suppose, was to illustrate the depth of my frigid misery so that I could bask in the warmth of your sympathy. I probably shouldn’t tell you at this point that I’m in Florida. But hey! It’s still going below freezing tonight with a wind chill factor of 22 degrees fahrenheit, so cut me a little slack.
And I’d also like to ask you a question, dear reader. What ARE patooties, anyway? And why don’t you ever hear of them in the singular? Oh, never mind. Just rest assured that I have, most definitely, frozen mine off.