Monday Metaphor Musings #6: It’s So Cold

Here’s my gripe about Florida people. If you’re one of them, take this with a grain of salt.  Literally–sidewalk salt for ice. Or with a few snowflakes . . .

Up here in frigid Wisconsin, my husband Tim and I send texts about the weather to our Florida relatives. Something like, “It’s ten degrees today,” along with a picture of knee-high snow in the driveway.

The reply: “Got down to sixty degrees today. We had to wear sweatshirts. Ugh.”

Or “Why are you living up there anyhow?”

Tim and I should know better than to send weather reports to Florida and expect sympathy.

In Wisconsin, sometimes we feel like these chairs.

Last month in my town, the temperature was -25. The wind chill was -53. We were victims of the polar vortex.

Weather variations have always been a point of friendly contention between Tim and his sister. But last month’s extreme weather sparked a series of one-liner texts between them. 

Here’s a sampling. It is so cold that . . . 

. . . a penguin rang our door and asked to come in.

. . . the polar bear gave me the Coke.

. . . the Shackleton crew camped out in the backyard.

. . . Al Gore came said he was rethinking his position.

. . . the ice on our sidewalk snuck into our freezer to warm up.

. . . outdoor thermometers can be seen shaking their fists at people checking the temperature from indoors.

. . . Lambeau Field has been renamed Polar Vortex Stadium.

. . . politicians have their hands in their own pockets. 

. . . I caught a fever and my body temp went up to 63.

. . . the Good Humor man is in a bad mood.

. . . nobody can have heated arguments.

In 1895, L. Frank Baum (in pre-Oz days) entered the Chicago Sunday Times-Herald Biggest Lie contest. The newspaper published his “tall tale” piece, “A Cold Day on the Railroad” (May 26, 1895). 

Baum reported that the day was so cold that even the smoke froze. The “conductor entered the car, knocked his head against the side of the door to break off his breath, and yelled, ticket! before it froze again.”

The word froze, “penetrated a few feet and stuck fast in the atmosphere.” The word hung in the air as frozen breath, where passengers read it. 

The conductor “broke his little finger off as clean as if it had been an icicle. It rattled onto the floor, but he picked it up and calmly put it in his vest pocket.” The end.

That week of the polar vortex, our whole house was 15 degrees lower than normal. At 9:00am, I set a lasagna on the kitchen counter to thaw. At 3:00pm it was still frozen. True story.

Today I invite you to contribute your own “tall tale.” Just a line, a simile. Finish this sentence: “It’s so cold that . . .”

As I write this on March 4, the temperature is again near zero. Yes, even though we’re 16 days away from so-called Spring. Plenty of inspiration here.

If you didn’t do the previous metaphor exercises, I invite you to go back and try them. Feel free to share in the comments. I’d love to know where your musings lead you.

Previous exercises involve brainstorming the word web and finding the right metaphor to describe yourself. Then we clustered the word door and found a metaphor for life. Last time we took a quiz.

Fill in the blank with your own simile, far-fetched or not: “It’s so cold that _____.” Or, if you prefer, try “It’s so hot that _____” or “It rained so much that _____” or “It snowed so much that _____.” Pick your own extreme weather.

I’d love to hear from you!

Ever musing,


10 thoughts on “Monday Metaphor Musings #6: It’s So Cold

  1. My favorite line is…politicians have their hands in their own pockets! Someone has a sense of humor!!!

  2. I love the one-liners from Tim and his sister. Mine is “It’s so cold even teenagers are zipping up their winter jackets- and wearing long pants.”

    1. That’s great! I’m always amazed at how young folks walk around in winter in only sweatshirts and sometimes shorts, with no hats, scarf, or gloves!

  3. I am much better at appreciating the metaphors of others than coming up with my own.
    How about “The snow was so high the plows had to ride piggyback” ???

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