Friday, September 30, 2005

Turning Blue

Here in Minnesota, there’s quite a bit of hilarity attached to watching Southerners catch their deaths from cold – even when the cold is only 45°F. Think about what you have heard of this part of the country from Garrison Keillor, the radio humorist, and you’ll quickly realize that there’s a certain rural toughness associated with the onset of winter.

Last evening, Barbara and I were invited to dinner by Pat and Steph Murphy (the bride’s father and mother – Steph is Barbara’s youngest sister). By the time the immense steaks were going onto the grill, the evening had turned chilly…for me. By dinner time, I had borrowed one [1] extra sweatshirt, one [1] winter jacket, and one [1] pair of woolen mittens – and was still turning blue.

The engaged couple and their friends, Pat, Steph, even Barbara were all solicitous in their sly way: wasn’t it a pity that my thin blood wasn’t thickening up fast enough to withstand the cold; while they sat around the front porch OUTSIDE in shirts and jeans.

Nevertheless, we had a classic Minnesota farm dinner, with enough food on the table to feed the Chinese 8th Route Army. The cool weather made everybody extra hungry.

By the time the groom and his friends left for late-evening tuxedo fittings, I had fueled myself to the point that I could string two sentences together without my teeth chattering. There’s something to what Keillor’s fake advertising for Powermilk Biscuits says: Eating up here gives men the strength to carry on through the winter. “Heavens, they’re tasty!”

Bless the power of advertising. Now I’m headed for the Chatterbox Café for another cup of coffee.

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