It’s nearly 50 degrees outside on December 8. The last two winters in the northeast have been the same: bitter cold in January or February, but damn near balmy temps in November and December.
Which leads me to my favorite effect of climate change: I like it when people wear massive winter coats in December even when it’s way too hot for a massive winter coat. I saw a guy walking around in a, big, thick pea coat yesterday and it was great. I love his attitude and refusal to admit it got cold initially, but then got warm again.
You know what happened: it dipped down to below 40 one day in November. He was clearly excited to wear his coat so he rummaged through the closet for it, busted it out, and is now pot committed. Whatever happens now, that thing isn’t going back into storage. That attic probably has spiders in it, and what kind of maniac do you have to be to needlessly expose yourself to spiders? No, the coat is staying, and while it does, he may as well wear it.
I invented the rest of his back story in my head: he’s a rabid anti-climate change denier who hates when people point out that milder climates are getting warmer. He broke out his scarf on September 30th. When people ask why he’s sweating so much he lies and says it’s because of the weighted vest he’s wearing as part of his workout program.
Everyone constantly asks him why he’s wearing it. “Don’t you have anything lighter, like a windbreaker?” No! He threw out his windbreaker when he sank $200 into this charcoal grey Dockers pea coat. It eliminated the need for all other inferior coats. Why wear a $10 windbreaker from Walmart when you can move around in the lap of luxury? What do they think he is, some kind of peasant?
He grows comfortable with the constant flow of sweat the coat causes and adapts to his new lifestyle as a constantly overheated guy. Spa trips are no longer needed as he carries a sauna with him wherever he goes. He doubles down on his commitment by wearing it everywhere, indoors or outdoors. Hosts at restaurants come to fear his scowl when they ask him, “May I take your coat?” How could he trust someone else with his precious Docky? (That’s the name he gave it).
Friends and family beg him to take it off, but he brushes them away with lies. “Nope, I’m good. I’m actually a little chilly.” He turns off the heat in his house as a way to justify his decision. He begins to lose his mind, wearing it through the spring and into summer. Before a Fourth of July picnic, his serious girlfriend issues an ultimatum (“It’s either me or the coat, Rick!”). He doesn’t take his eyes off the Weather Channel as he coldly intones, “Brr….wonder if we’ll get any snow tonight?”). Her eyes flood with white hot tears as she storms out, heartbroken, never to return.
As the years go on and winters shorten, he searches for colder climates. Rather than admit his mistake of getting the coat out of storage too early in October 2015, he moves to a remote part of northern Canada, away from the judgment of civilization’s non-coated population. He takes up in a cabin, just a man and his loyal coat. He spends every day muttering the same thing, “…I didn’t spend…$200…to only wear it two months of the year…”)
Eventually, he goes mad and wanders off into the forest. He comes upon another weary traveler and tells him his sad tale. The traveler furrows his brow in confusion. “Couldn’t you have just, I don’t know…kept it on a coat rack until it got colder?”
He squints. “Wait…what’s a coat rack?”