I've got three posts in mind, an ice storm outside, and essentially this whole season of Chuck to watch. We'll see how long my attention span and the electricity hold out.
A friend from D.C. who is actually from Texas (we'll call her, "Tex") recently watched the holiday classic A Christmas Story. Later, she asked, "Do kids in places where it's cold really do that?"
At first, I thought she was asking if we really shoot our eyes out (which, not mostly), but that seems like a weird thing to associate with cold weather.
"You mean, freeze our tongues to cold metal things?"
That is, in fact, what Tex meant.
Yes. I don't remember any flagpole-related episodes, but I remember incidents involving the chain-link fence that separated Mrs. Olson's classroom from the playground at D. J. Bakie School, and have a couple of vague memories of other, similar, events elsewhere.
"And when that happens," Tex asked, "does someone think to just pour warm water on the kid's tongue?"
"Yes," I said. "That's actually the standard adult reaction. The fire department is never called."
And then I told her my one story of embarrassingly freezing myself to something cold and metal, which is made worse by the fact that I was in my 30s, and it was indoors.
I was in my then-girlfriend's apartment, with her parents. They didn't know we were dating, but I was nonetheless perpetually committed to making a good impression on them, and so was helping my girlfriend get them drinks, serve ice cream, pick out a suitable movie for us all to watch, etc. Once I had served the ice cream, I did what any regular person would do: I licked the rest of the ice cream off the scoop and put the scoop in the sink.
It might have hurt a tiny bit at the time. My lip might even have bled a little. But those kinds of wounds don't hurt much, and I had other things to worry about.
It was only later that night, after they'd left, that the girlfriend had something to tell me.
"It's OK if you lick the ice cream scoop," she said, "but you should probably rinse it afterwards if you do."
I stared at her, horrified, while she explained that her mother had found the scoop in the sink with a hunk of my lip and a little blood still clinging to it. Her mother is the sort of person who is easily tickled by things, and she'd apparently had to confine herself to the kitchen for several minutes to get her grossed-out laughing spell under control.
So much for good impressions.
I am, like, 97% sure that that had nothing to do with our eventual breakup.