Keeping warm dangerous, costly

Don’t you just hate the cold? I really do. In fact, there’s nothing about it that I particularly care for. I would just as soon skip the chilliness of winter months. We could all celebrate Christmas at Disney World — better yet, Oodnadatta, South Australia — and I don’t think anybody would truly miss the chill. At least I wouldn’t.

Over the eons, societies and nations have upheld various traditions and holidays to coincide with the winter season. From the Scandinavian Yule festival to the ancient Romans’ Saturnalia, from the Hindu Diwali to the Jewish Hanukkah, this celebratory tendency transcends cultural, ethnic and religious boundaries.

I know exactly why this is. It’s because people will do anything to distract themselves from the cold. Rather than eating, drinking, and being merry, I have decided to proactively pursue a remedy for my chronically cold condition this winter. I currently heat my house exclusively with a wood furnace sitting in the corner of my living room. This method has its advantages (namely the fact that I get to play with fire) but is still kind of slow going and I have to remember to replace the logs.

I was thinking about maybe getting a gas meter set up in my apartment. That is, until I talked to the gas company. After installation and deposit charges, I would have to pay some $200 to heat my home with gas, before utility bills. My generous landlord offered to cover these charges, but what kind of gesture is that? “Merry Christmas, and thanks for the nice apartment with cheap rent, now please pay $200.” Plus, with a heat source constantly going in my house, I could imagine my bills bringing tears to my eyes. At least they wouldn’t be frozen tears. Still, I think I need to consider other options.

Next is the prospect of a space heater, which frightened my parents a little when I brought it up to them. They know how forgetful I am. I would wake up one morning, throw my blanket off my bed, go to work and come back for lunch to discover my apartment in flames. Of course, if my apartment was on fire, then it would be very warm, so that idea has its merits as well.

I think it was in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House” series where people would bake potatoes in tin foil and then put the potatoes in their pockets to keep them warm while they were outside in cold weather. This seems rather dangerous and excruciatingly painful. We had better scratch that idea.

Electric blankets can be pretty wonderful, but then again, there’s the whole “I’m enveloped in potentially skull-frying electricity and unconscious” aspect to the endeavor. I probably just need to stop watching network TV news specials, pick a heat source and be content.

But first I’m going to adjust the thermostat in the office. Why is it always so cold in here?