The Wintry Day

Things happen when it’s colder than Alaska in a landlocked state. Lots of things. For starters, if you live in a place like Utah, where they focus more on making pre-dinner cocktails illegal rather than cleaning up the air, you get an inversion.

Wait, what’s that? I’ve never heard of such a thing.

Right? I had no clue what an inversion was till I moved to Utah. It wasn’t even sort of a real thing to me. Oregon has fresh, clean air, full of oxygen. And rainbows and fairies. But my sophomore year of college, I discovered the inversion and everything that meant.

Gross, dirty, nasty air. That’s what it means. Gross, dirty, nasty air that doesn’t go away for weeks at a time. They instituted red light days (I’m not making this up), in which elementary, middle, and high schools were actually canceled because HEAVEN FORBID children get lung cancer from walking outside. But if you’re a college student, the general advice is: Don’t breathe as you walk to campus.

And, I’m sorry to say, inversion happens in Utah County as well, which I had the misfortune of discovering a couple weeks ago.

This is a photo of a mountain.No. Seriously.

This is a photo of a mountain.
No. Seriously.

Inversion looks like fog except it makes you sick. So that’s fun.

Other things happen too, though. Like your limbs start to lock up and, as you’re walking up the 104 stair staircase to your office building, you start to get the distinct feeling that you are going to fall backwards to your frozen, bloody doom.

Then your nose hairs will freeze up. That feels gross, btw.

Finally, when you reach your warm, dry destination, your body will officially start to shut down. Your organs will fail to function. You will have a headache and a backache and a stomachache and your feet will hurt, despite your best efforts in wearing long pants, wool socks, and knee-high boots.

Knee high boots and boot socks

So far, I can confirm that my spleen, appendix, and duodenum are completely toast. My lungs are shutting down as I type (and cough). It’s been a good run, guys. I’ll miss you. I know you’ll miss me too.


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