Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Wintering Has Begun 

It has begun. Despite being only mid-November, Buffalo is under 2 metres of snow in some places and most everywhere else is suffering from skin shrivelling arctic wind. Today was the first day I broke out a pair of new winter boots. I would’ve been happier if they never saw the light of day. Yesterday, I donned my winter coat about a month earlier than I expected. Toronto is supposed to have a measly 5 cm or so of snow this afternoon. If previous weather forecasts are an indication of what we’ll expect, we’ll probably get fog. But this isn’t how the Wintering begins.

It starts internally, like a clock switched from Daylight Savings Time to Bear Sleepy Sleepy Nap Time. I’ve already packed on a few pounds. It’s been too cold to really feel like going for a swim. Expectation of snow and ice means I’ve left the bike at home and the only thing I really want is a chocolate dipped bacon double-cheese burger dropped into my mouth while I recline on a sofa.

So that’s it then. So long “well-fitting trousers”. Say good-bye to wakefulness, focus or ambition. From now on the only goal my primitive brain desires is to convert carbohydrates to fat at all costs. This is what my winter brain commands me: sleep as much as possible and if you happen to be awake, then please fill your always open maw with bread, muffins, cake, suet, shortening and sugar. Tamp it down with a hockey stick if you have to. Turn off the lights, turn up the heat and lock the doors. It tells you to give up. From now until March, my mouth will be a one-way drive-thru where stewed meats, pies, biscuits, cheese, bacon and chocolate will enter and – like The Hotel California – never leave. I will bloat up and spill over all furniture. Don’t bother exercising. It’s useless, unless I enjoy the lie that if I work up a bit of a sweat I then deserve a pile of poutine. I don’t. I won’t worry about my dry, flaking and pallid skin. No one will see me beneath every woollen cap and scarf I can wrap myself in.

Let it happen, bring it on. This is my nature. Why fight it? This is what millions of years of evolution have led to. I like to think of it as a Slightly Slovenly Princely Period. Oscillating between bouts of ennui and gluttony, I’ll take my place under the blankets while the grilled cheese sandwich I ate settles and I douse my thirst with a heavy winter ale. For this is the only thing a northern European male is any good at. Eating, sleeping and gaining weight. I hope there’s something on television at least. It doesn’t matter. I’ll watch it anyway.

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