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Ready for the cold, ready for anything

So the subzero temperatures blew in a couple weeks ago, chapping every pair of cheeks that I own. Luckily, the thermometer's back up to where it belongs and my breath no longer screams as it leaves my body and moves to Florida.

Being a lifelong Northlander, I am prepared for the traditional week of deep freeze that smacks us around every January. I usually try to stay indoors, hunkered down with a case of Mountain Dew and my craft projects (almost finished with my hot air balloons made out of papier mâché and Sarah Palin stump speeches) but sometimes I must venture out of the house. When that happens, I refer to my Frosty 11-Step Checklist for Going Outdoors in January:

• Don my long underwear. Check.

• Get long underwear off of Don and put on me. Check.

• Pull on fuzzy socks. If socks are in the wash, wake up the cats and duct tape them to my feet. Check.

• Wrap scarf around neck. Check.

• See pretty stars as they light up the foyer. Loosen scarf. Check.

• Slip on heavy-duty, thermal-insulated, wind-resistant, waterproof, polar bear-lined parka. Check.

• Enlist family to assist with mitten location and subsequent hand placement. Check.

• Repeat with other mitten. Double check.

• Remember to get new insurance quote. Discount double-check.

• Bound up tighter than a cheese-eating mummy, realize that winter boots are still in the porch. Sigh.

• Repeat steps in descending order. When finished eight hours later, go to bed and try again tomorrow.

After a few days, I finally wise up and sleep in my Sorels so I can achieve successful completion of what I call my Winter Combobulation.

If I never had to zip or unzip, I'd be golden the rest of the day. Unfortunately, being out in the tundra means a series of discombobulating and recombobulating my defense against the cold: Everything comes off when we're in the store, then goes back on when we leave. Not wanting to hold up my traveling party, I will attempt early recombobulation when it appears we're done. That's a gamble, though, because someone might forget to check the price of melon ballers all the way back on the top floor of Younkers and we'll have to turn around and head right back in. Now what? Do I stay fully combobulated and sweat harder than the GOP at the Trump/Cruz inauguration, or do I risk discombobulation only to be left behind as I flop around, hastily pulling, wrapping and yanking myself back into place?

I wish the Vikings would hurry up and win the Super Bowl. Then everything will freeze over, including Hell, and we can stay encased in winter garb year-round. Sure, it'll be frigid, but those postcards your breath sends you from Miami Beach will be fun to read.

When your eyeballs thaw out.

Brian Matuszak is the founder of Rubber Chicken Theater and invites you to follow him and his theater company on Twitter at twitter.com/rchickentheater, like them on Facebook at Rubber Chicken Theater and visit their website at www.RubberChickenTheater.com. He is excited to finally work the word “discombobulated” into a column and not have it refer to his senior prom.

Brian Matuszak

Brian Matuszak is the founder of Rubber Chicken Theater and invites you to follow him and his theater company on Twitter at twitter.com/rchickentheater, like them on Facebook at Rubber Chicken Theater and visit their website at RubberChickenTheater.com.

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