“The ramblings and grumblings of author Ad Hudler”

Frigid on Coconut Drive
Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Okay, as I write this it's 34 degrees outside, which would be just fine in, say, Flint or Rapid City but this is supposed to be the subtropics. I have even started wearing my flannel p.j's from Target, the ones with the little trains and trucks on them. (Yes, they do make those in adult sizes.)

Still, I've been colder. Once, we lived in a highrise in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota during January. I remember the weather forecaster saying on the nightly news, "Now, remember that exposed human flesh can freeze in an under a minute in these conditions."

Intrigued, my mother (who was visiting) and I decided to try an experiment. We filled a glass with vodka. She bundled up and went downstairs to the sidewalk beneath our 22nd-floor condo, and I went out to the balcony and poured it over the edge. Alcohol shouldn't freeze, right? But I heard my Smirnoff transform into ice and clink against the building all the way down. ... Mom came back up to confirm the test: Vodka was frozen. And so was she.


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