Another winter like this will kill me

By Jimmy Alford | Published Saturday, March 1, 2014

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It’s been a long, cold winter for pretty much everyone. Freezing temperatures and snow from back east to right here in our own yards. And I’m just about tired of it. March 20 can’t get here fast enough.

I had always enjoyed cold weather. I loved the look of snow and relished the cold blustery wind on my face – until this winter broke me.

Jimmy Alford

Jimmy Alford

I think I’m firmly a spring and fall guy now … maybe. I can’t say that I am longing for summer because I can’t think of anything positive to say about 105-degree afternoons, except that your car easily doubles as an Easy Bake Oven.

That sounds like a joke, but it’s not. Last summer I learned how to bake cookies in my front seat while toiling away at work cooled by man’s greatest achievement – central air conditioning.

I may not be a summer person yet, but a few more winters like this one and I’m moving to the equator.

This is coming from a guy who has lived in areas that got down to 14-below zero in December. Somehow, I feel colder during Texas winters.

I think the turning point came right around the first week of December 2013, when the Icepocalyspe crushed North Texas beneath its glacial might.

I couldn’t leave my house for fear of sliding sideways on the 2-inch thick sheet of ice covering everything.

Did I mention that I drive a Miata? My tiny, rear-wheel drive sports car can’t handle this type of weather. It’s ridiculous.

The slightest bit of ice on the road makes me feel like a small plastic man, stuck in a Hot Wheels car, being whirled around by a sugar-crazed 3-year-old.

Apparently, I’m not made for ice any more than my car is.

I’m a big man. OK, I’m fat. I’m well aware of it and because of this, there are certain things I do not attempt.

1. Anything you might have seen on the Winter Olympics (aside from curling)

2. Marathons

3. Guess-your-weight carnival games

4. Walking on ice

That last one got the better of me this past winter. On several occasions I found myself in need of the basic essentials – food, sunshine and having to walk the dogs. That meant spelunking my way down a set of treacherous concrete stairs, navigating a path of snow and ice covering a sidewalk, then crossing a skating rink that was once a parking lot.

Sometimes when people fall and bust their butts, it’s funny. Sometimes it’s hilarious. But when a fat man like me falls, people get serious very quickly.

Everything happens in slow motion and suddenly, you’re a large heap, hoping nothing is broken – right after you check to see if anyone witnessed your tumble.

It was the stairs that got the better of me.

If you’ve ever watched “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” there is a great scene early in the movie where Indiana Jones has just stolen a golden idol and is running for his life. Suddenly, a large boulder is barreling down on him, threatening to crush him. It’s a great and powerful piece of cinematic genius.

Now imagine, instead of Dr. Jones, you have a beagle and pomeranian narrowly escaping not a boulder, but a big fat white guy rolling down the stairs.

I think Spielberg would have loved it. I and my backside did not, however. It is only now that I can come clean to you all about this.

That kind of thing doesn’t happen in the Caribbean. I’m sure there is some small island nation somewhere that could use a portly white guy.

There has to be.

Jimmy Alford is a graphic designer, reporter and photographer for the Messenger.

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