Last week, I was setting up the tarps and the mattresses in my living room, when a friend of mine stopped by and asked me if I wanted to go to lunch. Actually, this friend was a lady, and women don't have to talk me into anything, I just agree and do whatever. But I was busy... I explained I was getting ready for my hibernation and I still had to paint my windows black and call all my friends and tell them I would be sleeping through Christmas, so please hang on to my gifts until February.
She gave me that look a woman gives you just before she calls 911. I told her to put down the phone and relax and let me explain... and I patted a box spring and said, "here's a place to sit with no sharp edges." She sat down. I hoped I was right about the no sharp edges. I went on.
I know we are right in the thick of that magical, tinsel-staticky time of year... when the temperature drops below the unemployment rate, and what's left of our cash runs out faster than the days until Christmas. This week, the first bite of frosty air has sunk its frozen fangs into our flaky, pale Northeastern skin... to remind us not to complain about ANYTHING in the blessed summer months. Except my neighbor in the Speedo.
It's a cruel calendar, mixing the threat of snowy winds, frostbite, and dangerous driving with the frenzy of holiday preparation, financial ruin, and visiting the relatives. I just can't take the stress this year. Or that Paul McCartney Christmas song.
The birds have the right idea. The first rumor of a cold breeze and they don't even wait around to program the TiVo and see if the kids get home from school. They just get a "V" flying party together and wing it to South America. Me...being a flightless mammal...I have decided to be more like our friend, the bear, and snooze through the holiday hassles and the indecent, inclement weather. Just like the bear, I will be spending junk-food days of unshaven slumber with a bottle of Absolut and a pile of mattresses. Well, kind of like what a bear would do if it had access to Costco. And trust me, by February, a bear will smell better, and be more welcome in Costco than I will be.
My friend had that look of disbelief that one often sees on sober people who didn't think of a great idea first. I explained to her it was a myth that bears slept through the entire winter, but that they actually got up every few days to forage for food. I would call for pizza delivery once a week. It would be a great experiment. I would leave the bitter cold day-to-day realities and slow my metabolism in a world of cheap vodka, erratic bad food, abandonment of grooming, and almost no visible movement for days... I would be living the life of human hibernation... She asked how that would differ from my usual lifestyle, and I said there would be fewer doughnuts and I was stopping the mail delivery.
She seemed intrigued as I continued describing my plan. Anytime a woman gives me attention for twenty minutes and it's not research for a psychology thesis, I'm encouraged. I worked up the guts to ask her...if she would like to co-hibernate with me. I even pointed to a stack of old newspapers and offered to help her rip them to shreds so she could have a place to sleep, as well. That's when she said... rather hurriedly... she had forgotten she left her sick mother in the car downstairs and the motor was still running and they were on the way to the hospital or an oboe lesson or something but I didn't hear all of it because by the time she got to that part she was on the other side of the door and gone.
It's too bad for her, because she looked a bit stressed and could probably use a few months hibernation, but...with a sick mom, I can understand her reluctance. Not me, though. If I start now, I can sleep a few weeks and wake up on Christmas, have a few cookies and pizza, and go back to sleep until after the New Year. By the time I stop hibernating, the coldest part of winter will be gone, baseball's spring training will be starting, and most of the radio stations will finally stop playing that Paul McCartney Christmas song.
Then again, if I just keep tossing and turning, I'll give up the hibernation idea and be back here next week.
Brian Smith is the same Brian Smith who was on your radio in the morning on the original WPLR, and in the afternoons on WICC-AM... until... well, he wasn't. A Milford resident, he is a freelance writer and producer and contributes to MilfordPatch, as well as the OrangePatch and BethwoodPatch. Check out his website at BrianSmithRadio.com, and email him at BrianSmithRadio@yahoo.com.