You did not misread that headline. I'm not writing about a "cold snap." In my Wisconsin world, this is "cold crack" season and I dread it like I dread a pile of unfolded fitted sheets.
To be honest, it's not exactly the crack that's cold. It's the upper jowls of the buttocks that retain coldness with an awful tenacity.
But "cold crack" has a nice ring to it. It's an anatomical alliteration that was invented by my friend Mike. He talks in rapid fire double entendres and makes puns in his sleep.
Wearing warm clothing doesn't help cold crack. You know how you keep your beer cold by using a neoprene coozie? In Wisconsin, people also keep their beer cold by putting it on the windowsill. Though if you buy cheap beer with low alcohol content, you run the risk of it freezing and exploding on the window and then refreezing in a sheet that some people like to lick. Not that I would know.
But coozies are great during Wisconsin's six weeks of summer. They offer up another green and gold surface to adorn with your favorite bon mots. My friend Mike has one that reads "In dog beers, I've only had one."
Coozies keep cold beer cold the same way that clothing keeps cold crack cold. Even Patagonia Synchilla, which sounds like a rock festival and not $100 long underwear, does not warm the crack. It does the opposite. It helps the crack retain its cold, a kind of chill armor. In fact, one could safely stow food - a piece of mortadella maybe - between the Synchilla and the cold crack and the mortadella would stay pleasingly fresh. Not that I would know.
If other people are standing in the vicinity of the cold crack, they can feel the chill emanating outward. 99.99% of people are too polite to comment. My friend Mike, however, has zero restraint. He makes cracks about the crack.
We were out to eat and when the server came over, Mike pointed at me and said, "Her crack is cold. She needs soup." The server looked at me. "Is your butt cold, honey?"
"Yes," I said, "But I don't want soup. I'll have the chicken caesar salad. Hold the croutons."
"Good choice," she said. "Chewing on that lettuce will get your blood moving. It's exercise. Adipose tissue is stubborn that way."
"Well if that's true," said Mike, spewing alliterations excitedly, "Then crunching on croutons can cure a cold crack. Better bring a basket."
He doesn't really want me to be cured. He likes my handicap. He is as entertained by cold cracks as he is by ice fishing, in that it happens to someone other than him and hearing about it makes winter less tedious.
I've never been ice fishing, but I have been to a Packer's game in sub-arctic temperatures. I put those toe warmer adhesives on the cold crack. It took a half dozen patches and they sort of worked. But around the second quarter, I remembered that I'm latex intolerant. The woman behind me might have suspected that I had lice. What I had was itchy crack, It's far worse than cold crack.
Mike thought the whole episode was hilarious. He is a cruel cracker. I'm just crackishly cold. I'm not sure which of us is better off.
Photo by Caleb George
Photo by Renn Kuhnen.
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