M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Friday, December 06, 2002  

The following headline appeared in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel last weekend:

Hummer is a Bummer on Willy St., But It’s a Ball at the Mall

The headline-writing staff of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is either a lot more mature than I am, or a lot less mature than I am.

* * *

There’s something I do that makes everybody look at me like I’m an idiot. Actually, there’s a whole list of things I do that make everybody look at me like I’m an idiot, but I’m only going to tell you about one of them today. As per usual.

I cut the fingers off a pair of knit gloves and I wear them under my normal gloves.

I initiated this practice almost a decade and a half ago, when I was attending the University of Minnesota and the only way to get across Washington Avenue was to expose oneself to gusts of wind off the Mississippi River that were as keen as a tsunami of liquid nitrogen. Desperate to hold on to my personal BTUs, willing to do anything short of wearing a dorky hat, I basically invented thermal underwear for my hands. I haven’t looked back since.

Some of you will say, “duh, I’ve been doing that for years.” But based on the reactions of people I know, the majority of you will have some kind of weird resistance to the idea that is completely inexplicable to me. What’s the matter with you anyway?

The big objection is that “your fingers are the part of your hand that gets cold when you’re wearing gloves anyhow.” That’s true. I experimented for a while with wearing just the cut-off fingers under my gloves, but they’d go all over the place when I took the gloves off. Plus I looked pretty uncool when I was painstakingly applying what looked like ten little knitted condoms.

But here’s the thing; your fingers get cold because blood doesn’t want to flow to them in low temperatures. It would much rather be back in your torso where it’s nice and warm (and where you have how many layers on? Hmmm? Hypocrites). But if the main part of your hand is warm, the blood doesn’t have to travel as far from the extremities to get heated back up. Which means your fingers don’t get as cold. I have tested this phenomenon scientifically, and my subject pool, which consists of me, has reported 100% success.

The other advantage? People who wear just one pair of gloves or mittens have two choices when they actually want to use their fingers: enduring cold hands, or manipulating keys and change through an arm-end covering that reduces its effectiveness to that of one of those coin-operated crane games at the arcade. And speak to me not of fancy thin gloves whose ads promise that you’ll be able to perform neurosurgery while wearing them (even if you couldn’t before); if the weather is warm enough that you can get away with one of those thin sheaths stretched over your gripper, you don’t need it anyhow. And I’m not interested in those convertible mittens made famous by Jack Lemmon in Grumpy Old Men; if I wanted to wear mittens, I’d wear mittens. Whereas my under-glove allows me to minimize exposure while maximizing dexterity. Without them, I never would have succeeded in getting the Christmas lights on the house the other night. I would have been reduced to hanging them the way high school students hang toilet paper from trees. With them, the guy in the Jack London story I linked to yesterday might still be alive. He'd be very old, but he’d be alive.

And yet everyone thinks it’s dorky. You’d think people would know better in Minnesota of all places.

As a telecommunications analyst, a musician, a writer, and a husband, my fingers are important to me. That’s why I’m passing along my discovery, as a public service. At no charge. You’re welcome.

Unless someone decides to patent this idea, in which case I want a cut.

* * *

Speaking of getting a cut of things, you may have noticed the new link at the right that connects to the PDA version of the site. My boy Kraftmatik, one of my Krakathoom bandmates, not only figured out how to do it, but did it. He’d probably do it for you, too, if it’s worth a couple of C-notes to you (a bit of which I’d get as commission). If so, I can put you in touch with him. If not, then, as you were.

posted by M. Giant 3:53 PM 0 comments


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