Commentary | Life Lines: A gentle gent’s appeal to the world’s weather jocks

I’m a pretty gentle gent. I drink green tea and buy wine for the pictures on the bottles. I own a plant, believe in true love, and prefer the acoustic versions. I’d rather stroll than walk and when playing guitar, I pick before I strum. But if I ever find the asshole who wore a T-shirt past my window on that fateful freezing day, I might just pour hot green tea all over his ass.

Here’s the situation: I don’t do weather channels. They’re predictive and stupid and seek to spoil what little mystery is left in our science-based lives. But since moving to Canada, I quickly realized that not knowing the temperature could be the difference between a comfortable day and a day where you have to pull apart frozen eyelashes. Thus I resorted to peeking out of my window every morning to measure the level of material my fellow citizens have applied, and I then follow suite. This helps me learn from society while maintaining life’s mystery because I only find out the day of. And it has served me quite well. Until that day last week. That day some happy-go-lucky, no-respect-for-the-wrath-of-winter jerk screwed with my system.

It started like every other morning. Shaking dreams from my head, I stumbled out of bed, shuffled to the shower, showered, shuffled back, pulled back the curtains and there he was. The only person on the street, walking, not strolling – should’ve been my first clue something was off – leisurely towards campus. Now my rule is that I take the average of what people are wearing and I apply that to myself. For instance, if there’s a mixture of sweaters and winter jackets, I’ll wear an intermediate coat.

Needless to say, with one guy out there the average was pretty obvious. I would’ve waited for a more representative sample but I was late for class and from a distance, this dude seemed like a nice enough chap. The kind of chap who would wake up thinking, “Golly gee, I should not wear a mere shirt on a day of arctic temperatures in case someone of an inferior cold threshold does likewise.” This fellow though, evidently did not wake up thinking that. No, he probably thought, “Some poor bastard’s gonna freeze today.”

That poor bastard was me. I sensed something was dreadfully wrong as the elevator door opened on the bottom floor and hints of an icy breeze licked at me from the building entrance. I knew the day was down the shitter by the time I had taken ten steps outside. Two facts were impressed on my mind: one, I’d have to run to catch up to the shirt-wearing jackass, and two, my nipples were going to be rock-solidly showing through my shirt all day.

Well, I did run, but that only increased the chilly-ness. So basically I am abusing my newspaper publishing privileges to reach this man. Whoever and wherever you are, please sir, be more conscientious of the more weather-sensitive folk out there. And if you have the guts, meet me behind the Leacock building on Tuesday and we’ll settle this man to man over a hardy game of chess.

[i]A note to all you winter T-shirt wearers out there: Johanu’s name is pronounced with a soft J. Don’t get that wrong or he’ll get real riled up. Set a date at lifelines@mcgilldaily.com.[/i]


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