Do some people really not feel the cold?

First the news: I stopped in at the Vista Starbucks this morning and did not buy any coffee.

I just wanted to see if they had any pound bags of Christmas blend beans left, which they did not.

Anyway, as I was turning into Lincoln from Gervais, I had to wait for a pedestrian couple to cross Lincoln in front of me, and I found myself staring at the man, who was wearing shorts and a T-shirt. This wasn’t some stupid kid showing off how the elements didn’t bother him; it was a middle-aged guy. Yes, he was well over six feet tall and probably weighed around 300 lbs., but still — even at that size, doesn’t a body give off too much heat to walk around thus unprotected when it’s 42 degrees out?

Then inside, waiting in the queue to ask about the Christmas blend, a skinny young guy in front of me ordered iced coffee.

I’m telling myself that the man is one of those guys who inexplicably always wears shorts and T-shirts (and what’s that about — this fashion of grown men dressing like little boys?), and has nothing else in his closet, which serves him well much of the year in SC. And the kid, being an American, always drinks iced drinks, and it never occurs to him to order anything else.

Because the idea that these were conscious decisions is just too absurd…

13 thoughts on “Do some people really not feel the cold?

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    If coffee is nasty, I assure you that it’s nastier cold.

    In fact, you need to cold-brew coffee if you’re going to serve it cold. Otherwise, you tend to be overwhelmed by the bitterness.

    If you really don’t like the taste of coffee, remember that it’s harder to dissolve sugar into it when it’s cold.

    Even before I learned to appreciate the taste of coffee, I loved it with lots of sugar. I used to order decaf and put lots of sugar in it when other people were having cake or pie or some other dessert.

    But once you become hooked on the caffeine, you learn to savor the taste of coffee black — assuming it’s nice and hot. That’s the way it worked for me, anyway.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I have an atypical attitude toward iced drinks, for an American.

      When I lived in Ecuador as a kid, everyone, from doctors to teachers at school, told me something that you almost never hear in this country — that cold drinks were bad for you, especially if you had chronic asthma, which I did.

      It’s simple physics. Cold substances cause your breathing passages (and the pathways through your digestive system, for that matter) to contract. Warm substances help open you up.

      Once you’re aware of this, you’ll realize how often you hear people coughing while consuming a cold beverage.

      1. Kathryn Fenner

        There’s no physics about it. If you have cold-induced asthma, you have a physiological reaction, that is, biology. I often get an inflamed throat, and the cold eases inflammation. Heat can increase inflammation.

        Warm drinks do loosen mucus, perhaps through inhaled steam, and that would be physics.

        But cold coffee is an abomination.

      2. Kathryn Fenner

        And I cannot recall ever hearing someone cough after drinking a cold beverage, not even you. You used to drink iced tea at Rotary…

        Drinking any beverage, if one is somewhat dehydrated, can loosen mucus, fwiw.

  2. Kathryn Fenner

    A guy I grew up with Aiken now lives in Boston and still only ever wears shorts.

    In a perhaps related note, his doctors cannot agree exactly what mental illnesses he suffers from.

  3. Kathryn Fenner

    People have different thermostats. I have friends who love to eat outside in the summer. I love to walk on the beach in the winter, even in Maine.

  4. Leon

    Brad, I am guilty as charged! Yes, I wear shorts and a t-shirt or shorts with a polo shirt hanging out during the summer. I am not trying to dress like a kid, however. I am trying to stay cool in this famously hot city! I am way past worrying what the fashion police think about the clothes I wear!

  5. Karen Pearson

    Shorts and an open collared shirt make sense in the summer. Wearing a full suit in the summer causes men to turn the thermostat down, thereby using more electricity, and freezing any woman wearing a sensible summer dress.

    1. Bryan Caskey

      You should go into some of our courtrooms in the summer. The male judges wear suit pants and a shirt and tie underneath their robes, which makes them extra hot. And guess who is in charge of the thermostat in the Courtroom?

      I’ve seen young, skinny court reporters in summer dress with blankets over their laps because the Judge had the thermostat set to “Arctic” in July.

  6. Bart

    My usual dress year round is shorts and a knit shirt or tee. My office is in my home and after several years, the only time my dress changes is if it the weather is not conducive and I have to leave home. Even in winter when feeding the feral cats, birds, and squirrels outside, shorts and short sleeve tee or knit. The thermostat remains constant year round, 72-74 summer, 68-70 winter. In the end, it is all a matter of personal choice unless work place dress codes dictate otherwise.

  7. Bill

    I don’t feel the cold,unless it’s below,20 or so;even then, I wear shorts.It’s part of working outdoors and in a greenhouse.Long pants and jackets restrict your movements,and you’ll be back in the hothouse,soon enough.I like to ‘sleep cold’.I rarely use the,’central heating’.It makes me nauseous.This IS SC,after all…

    Cold beverages make you cough? What are you drinking? Bacardi 151 on the rocks?

  8. Dirk Griggs

    I’m 19 and always wearing shorts and a hoddie when its cold out. It’s comfy and my legs don’t get that cold. I like the cool air blowing on my legs too. I like the looks and comments that you get too. I’ve had older people give me dirty looks and kids my age laugh. Just a couple days ago, i went to a pizza place and went outside with a group of other teens to smoke, they all had jeans on, and ribbed me a little bit, called me a dweeb, but it was all cool. It’s whatever floats your boat, and you just gotta hang with it.

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