January 2014 was the month of the now infamous polar vortex. Those of us who didn’t have the (mis)fortune of experiencing first-hand the “southward movement of tropospheric Artic air” (layman’s translation: a rather nippy breeze) that led to parts of Canada and the Midwestern United States reaching colder temperatures than those at the North and South Poles, certainly didn’t manage to get through the month without hearing or reading about it on every single news channel and newspaper. Reporters and journalists bombarded viewers and readers with stats on record breaking temperatures; photos of Niagra falls freezing over; stories of chaos at the airports and on the streets; lots of testimonials from local residents freezing their tits/balls off; and (if you watch Fox News*) the obligatory spots given to some rather confused but very impassioned nutjobs who try to reason that the phenomenon is (further)evidence that global warming is a global farce (if it’s global warming, then the world should be heating up, right?!).
We here at XelaWho think that all this attention given to the poor sufferers of the polar vortex is very biased. What about us all here in Xela? Sure, temperatures in the States and Canada may have fallen to -20 °c or lower (compared to a seemingly measly -2 °c here in Xela). But at least over there, local residents could look forward to returning to their nice warm homes with central heating. Maybe even with a toasty roaring fire. Here in Xela, the closest thing you get to central heating is wearing three jumpers, five t-shirts, two pairs of socks and a woolly hat. And then getting into bed and curling up under the covers.
We might not have had snow, or blizzards, or frozen waterfalls. But at least when it’s that cold you know what you’re getting. Over here, try going out of the house in the morning dressed in enough layers to make you look like the Michelin man and soon enough, come ten or eleven o’clock, you’re forced to strip down to just your t-shirt, lug everything over your shoulder and sweat whilst you trudge through the heat of the daytime sun. Only to be promptly forced to put everything back on again and hide under some covers once the sun disappears at dusk.
So, yes, January was cold for us too. And from the sounds of it, there’s more to come. People are predicting (based on what evidence, if any, is beyond us), more nights at below zero and the word “snow” is even being floated about. El Quetzalteco is warning against respiratory illnesses and pneumonia and is recommending that we drink lots of water, consume lots of vitamin C and wrap up warm at night and early in the morning.
But, with Valentine’s Day just round the corner, we have a better suggestion for staying warm and healthy: find yourself a snuggle partner. For those of our single readers out there – what better way to kill two birds with one stone: keep warm and find an excuse not to spend Valentine’s alone, than to find yourself a snuggle partner to keep you warm on those cold winter nights?
So in the interest of both preventing pneumonia and playing cupid this February, we’ve including a cut-out ad for our readers in this edition of the magazine (see below). Cut it out, post it on you door, hang it round your neck, stick it to your forehead; but just make sure you keep yourself warm this February!
* We’re hoping for laughs, rather than for the actual news