Curious Details of My Brush with Death: Hypothermic in Alabama

June 19, 2008 | By | Comments (0)

Southern summers are hot. You could fry an egg on Bruce Willis’s head (well, you could probably fry an egg on his head anywhere, anytime, but that’s beside the point). So let me tell you the intriguing story of how I did the best imitation of Ice Cube ever today and almost ended up in the morgue.

I’m on the road in southern Alabama, looking at lots of houses and gardens with the goal of presenting only the most worthy you, our esteemed reader. I was out with photographer John O’Hagan at 5:30 AM taking pictures, then spent the rest of the morning and afternoon looking at gardens in the 92-degree heat. I was hot!

What a Cool Room
Eventually, I checked into my luxurious hotel room, that had previously hosted such notable luminaries as Zager & Evans and The Archies, to cool off and relax. I took off my shirt (female readership just spiked by 21%), lay down on the bed (female readership spiked by another 40%), and turned on The History Channel (female readership now at 0%). The air conditioner thermostat, set by a cleaning person, read 60 degrees. It felt good.

After an eventful hour of watching The History Channel – I never realized the story of the founding of Pittsburgh could prove so riveting – I began to feel cold. Really cold. I put a blanket over me, but I still felt cold. I turned off the A.C., but it didn’t help. By the time I got up from the bed and walked across the room, I was shivering uncontrollably.

In June on the Alabama Gulf Coast, I was hypothermic.

What Would Bear Do?
So I asked myself what Bear Grylls, that crazy, he-man host of “Man vs. Wild” on The Discovery Channel (female readership once again moving into positive territory) would do. Suddenly, the answer came to me. He would try to get warm.

I turned the shower to its hottest setting, one that I believe would have melted lead, and stood under it for 20 minutes. Slowly but surely, my body warmed and the shivering stopped. It was then that I realized what I had done. I had ruined my chances for landing a Darwin Award for dying in an extremely unusual and stupid way.

Grumpians, don’t do as I did. If you going to do something stupid, do it as stupidly as you possibly can. Who knows, this coming November you might be elected President.


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