As the winter months get underway, many a wistful glance is cast out the window. People from all walks of life look forward to the first snowfall of the season. Children yearn to fling themselves down a hillside of snow, while others look forward to building a snowman complete with a carrot nose. What most people don’t know is that the group of individuals who most look forward to the upcoming blizzards or any form of inclement weather, for that matter, are teachers. In contrast to the mailmen and mailwomen who follow the creed, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,” we teachers have established our own motto: “Pray for snow, pray for sleet, because that will keep us off our feet.” We rally, albeit quietly, right along with the students, check the weather reports and secretly hope that during the wee hours of the night a blanket of snow will quietly fall, keeping us snug in our beds – not that we don’t love teaching, of course!
In my most recent clandestine attempt to check the weather, while trying to appear that I love my job (can you guess where I was), I came across a “weather phrase” that changed my life. It went like this: “The temperature is 35°, but it feels like 20°.” This confused me. What is this, weather therapy? When I check the weather, I expect weather, not feelings. I mean, why can’t I say, when I look out the window, “It looks like five snowflakes, but it feels like three inches. Sorry, I’m going back to bed.” I feel this requires an investigation into how far one can employ a creative license.
After a thorough investigation into this issue, the only other place I’ve found that encourages this mathematical changing of reality is photography. Didn’t you ever hear someone say, “The camera adds 10 pounds to you (not to me, of course).” Obviously, this is not a directional change that one appreciates, but it does seem to support this idea of randomly adding or subtracting numbers to an otherwise constant value. Well, I, for one, am going to put it to good use. Think about the possibilities. You get your cholesterol checked, and your doctor tells you it 225. Now you can say, “I know it says 225, but today it feels like 150; pass me a doughnut.”
This could have global ramifications. Think about the national deficit. “Well,” says the president to his advisor, “I know the national deficit is $1,234,567,890, but today it feels like a surplus. Michelle and I are going to order whole-wheat pizza for the entire nation – on the house.”
Of course you have to be careful not to get carried away with this. I don’t think the policeman who stops you for a ticket would appreciate you telling him, as you screech to a halt, that although his speed gun registered 75 mph, it only felt like 40 mph to you. Exercising some restraint in this area would probably serve you well.
All in all, this ability to randomly add or subtract numbers as you see fit seems like a positive step that should be capitalized upon. My first goal is to come up with a method of photography that actually takes 10 lbs off a person. I figure if I can invent such a device, all I’ll have to do is take three pictures of myself, and voila, I’ll have lost 30 pounds. If that isn’t worth its weight in doughnuts, then I don’t know what is.