BREAKING: Local farmer realizes it’s as much the cold as it is the wind chill
NORTH DAKOTA – It was a typical Monday morning on the plains with a sky bluer than Bob Saget’s jokes when Vern finished his morning chores down at the feedyard, came in for his fourth cup of coffee, and remembered that he had to go uptown and pick up some mineral for the mama cows.
It was a balmy -18 as he started up his 1979 Chevrolet Scottsdale and muttered to himself, “It ain’t so much the cold as the gosh durned wind chill.” What started out as a pretty mundane 15-mile trip to town purt’ near ruined Vern’s life and the poor bastard didn’t even know it yet.
Walking into the mill as he always did upon arrival, he nodded at the gal behind the counter (“that must be so-and-so’s daughter, I should try and match her up with my youngest boy,” he thought) and said he needed a couple bags of mineral.
The grunt working in the warehouse asked if Vern was going to load it up or no, to which Vern barked, “Your legs ain’t broke!”
What’s-his-nuts from the next township over walked in as the grunt was loading up Vern’s order and nodded. Vern, who couldn’t remember What’s-his-nuts’s actual name to save his soul, started off the conversation as any farmer would by talking about the weather.
“Sure is sunny today,” Vern said. “I ain’t seen the sun shine in three damn days, I reckon.”
“You’re tellin’ me,” What’s-his-nuts replied. “Colder than my wife’s side of the bed.”
Vern uttered the phrase that would throw him into an existential crisis.
“Ya know, it ain’t so much the cold as the goldarned wind chill.”
That was when the pretty girl behind the counter blurted out, “Ain’t no wind today, Vern.”
Vern couldn’t believe his ears. He bolted outside to the loading dock, licked his finger, and dumbassedly stuck said wet finger into air that hurt his face. As the frost began to form on his arthritic digit without any wind blowing, he was made a fool in front of his peers for the first time in his life.
He came back in.
“No wind today, Vern,” said What’s-his-nuts. “It’s just plain cold.”
Vern sat in silence on the way home, feeling as if his whole life was a lie. That phrase was his favorite, yet how many times had he said it only for it to be half true? You couldn’t have wind chill without cold, but you could have cold without wind chill? Shit, the last time he felt so betrayed was when his ma told him Santa wasn’t real, or when he found out that Colonel Hogan from Hogan’s Heroes was actually kind of a sick sumbitch in real life.
He got home, parked the pickup, and stuck his hands into his pockets as he walked to the house to face this new unknown like any good cattleman would do – by day drinking and never admitting to anyone that he was wrong about anything, much less the fact that a goddamned cattle feeder was wrong about the weather.
Before he grabbed the metal door handle, he breathed into his hands to unthaw them before taking a baby step into his home.
“What’s-his-nuts might be right, but I’ll never admit it,” Vern said. “It’s just plain cold.”