Jan 15, 2009

On Long Johns, Extreme Cold, and Textile Saunas

With temperatures in Northwest Ohio expected to drop to negative 10 degrees Fahrenheit tonight - and wind chill readings of perhaps 30 degrees below zero - I decided to dig up a pair of long johns this morning. Though I am sometimes a bit slow to learn life lessons, dressing appropriately for cold weather is one thing this Northerner knows well.

By the way: after looking at my long john-clad self in the mirror, I elected to use a generic long johns image in this post. My skinny legs and midsection girth do not translate well into a digital image, I am afraid, and such a sight might send legions of blog visitors scurrying for the nearest commode.

However, as soon as I reached my first lecture I knew that I was overdressed, and my 90-minute talk about the period of the Bourbon Reforms was one of extreme perspiration. The polypropylene fleece, double-layered thermal long johns quickly built up a layer of body heat that I could not vent, and I began sweating like a Saran-wrapped race horse in just minutes.

Of course, in these hermetically-sealed modern buildings, there is no simple solution like "open a window" to solve this problem. I had to suffer in silence, streams of sweat running down down my sides and forehead, and I probably looked like I swallowed a mouthful of Bhut Jolokia peppers.

After class I had to discreetly sequester myself in a lavatory and peel the soggy long johns from my body. If I become stranded this evening in a snowbank, I will put them back on, but these highly efficient fleece long johns are better suited for folks in Antarctica.


Anonymous said...

I want my 2 minutes back for rading this tripe.

historymike said...

You know, I'm not sure who is more pathetic: Anonymous, for spending two minutes reading about someone else's sweaty longjohns, or me, who spent 15 minutes WRITING about his sweaty longjohns.

(hands virtual envelope to Anonymous)

Here are your two minutes back, along with temporal interest.

slowsol said...

Imagine what your pupils were thinking. lol

"This guy must really get into this crap"


"Is he having drug withdrawals?"

Jason said...

Reminds me of when I was a kid and my parents insisted on making us wear long johns or those pajamas with feet to bed on a cold winter night. I'd always wake up sweating to death and eventually cut the feet off of those damn things.

Anonymous said...

Mike...just to let you know I am not that semi-literate and rude anonymous. Having suffered a similar teaching indignity (at a notable, but very snowy Midwestern institution), I feel your pain and can empathize with you.

One only wonder if the student thought that you had been reforming the Bourbon before class.

historymike said...

Heh - there are far too many Anonymi to keep track of them all. The weirdest Anonymous posters tend to show up close to publication on Blogger, when the new post runs through the "Just Published" cycle. A blogger is liable to attract just about anyone at this time among those surfing the newest stuff in the blogosphere.

historymike said...

Oh - and the only Bourbon reforming I do these days is staying away from said high-proof beverage. The consumption of bourbon, Jack Daniels, or Jägermeister always seemed to be associated with my darkest drinking hours.

Of course, that might also be due to the sorts of people with whom I caroused while drinking these beverages, as I tended to be drink what my compatriots consumed. When left to my devices, I gravitated toward the cold, clear, and catatonic powers of vodka of the rocks.

Or straight up. Or straight out of the bottle. Or intravenous vodka. Just so long as I received my nihtly long, long pulls of the swill.

-Sepp said...

HM, get yourself a set of polypropylene longjohns. I got my first set for deployment to Yugoslavia. They'll keep you toasty and not overheated since they wick the sweat away from your skin and keep you dry.
I haven't bothered to buy the old fashioned kind ever since.