don kerr

4 years ago · 2 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

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Mittens, toques and enormous boots. Three things to hate about winter.

Mittens, toques and enormous boots. Three things to hate about winter.

“I have a total irreverence for anything connected with society except that which makes the roads safer, the beer stronger, the food cheaper and the old men and old women warmer in the winter and happier in the summer.” - Brendan Behan

Let’s get this straight right off the bat.

I am a warm weather guy. Somehow, from a climatic standpoint, I was cursed to be born in the Great White North. Don’t misunderstand. Being a Canadian, especially in today’s world, is tremendous and I wouldn’t trade my citizenship for all the riches of the world.

It’s an unfortunate aspect of Canadian life that we actually experience winter! Cold, snowy, windy, dark, and icy winter.

I hate winter.

For every Canuck who rhapsodizes about the sparkling wonders of a cross-country ski trek through the Muskoka forests I say - bite me.

For every enthusiast who swoons at the mere thought of hurtling down a snow-covered Laurentian slope I say - shut up.

For every lunatic who claims transcendental clarity is achieved only when snowshoeing across a glistening white field I say - nuts.

Here are three things I really hate about winter:


Mittens: There are glove people. There are mitten people. Glove people believe there is benefit in maintaining at least marginal dexterity when it grows cold. Mitten people willingly accept the dexterity of a beaver’s tale for some element of warmth. Mittens are stupid. When you drop something into the snow - which you are guaranteed to do when wearing mittens - how do you retrieve said item? Take off your g.d. mittens and plunge your bare hand into the snow, rummage about, secure the dropped object, and exit the frozen waste with a now totally numb hand which, had you been wearing gloves, would be at least relatively warm ‘cause you wouldn’t have dropped the f&(king thing to start with! I am a sandals person. Screw any glove or mitten except a golf glove or a baseball mitt. The rest are simple instruments of winter torture.

94c5a9b3.jpgBoots: No, not really comfy cowboy boots. I have a BIG collection of cowboy boots and I love ‘em. We’re talking winter boots. Enormous, eight pound, 7” wide, 16” long, rubber and leather beasts. If you’ve not been doing your squats and burpees for the year, you’ll probably not be able to lift your feet for the first few weeks of winter so you’ll just shuffle along like some sorrowful Eeyore. Try driving with these suckers and you’re guaranteed at some point to trod on the brake and gas pedal at exactly the same time sending your spinning through the frozen winter ruts directly into the path of oncoming traffic where your only hope of survival is that the poor sap rushing toward you in his spinning SUV is about to slide into the other lane or deposit himself directly into the 12-foot snow bank so carefully placed by the Ministry of Transport’s snow removal team.

“I'm telling you, until I shaved my head, I never realized how much heat is lost through the top of the head. I walk out in winter and it feels like I have an ice pack on my head. Unbelievable.”
- Bryan Cranston


Toques: Looking for a way to look completely moronic? Seeking to prove that your belt doesn’t go through all the loops? Great. I have a simple solution for you. Slap a toque on your head. That’s all it will take. You will look like a dope and if you’ve got hair (something I don’t need to worry about) you’re guaranteed to look even dopier when you remove the chapeau. Dragged-through-a-hedge-backward dopey!

Now, I know I have opened myself up to a community of readers who will suggest that my understanding of winter belies a person too dumb to pour piss out of a boot with the directions printed on the heel!

Save it folks. You can’t convince me that winter is a wonderland.

“Winter lies too long in country towns; hangs on until it is stale and shabby, old and sullen.”
- Willa Cather

Guess I am just too old, miserable, cranky and cold to get it.

My kids?

They feel differently.

Bless ‘em.


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Paul Walters

4 years ago #21

Whenever you're ready Mr Kerr

don kerr

4 years ago #20


Phil Friedman

4 years ago #19

Snow is lovely, when the sun is bright and the snow is clean and dry and newly fallen. But when air pollutants have fallen and it becomes slushy and generally nasty, one inevitably dreams of sunny, warm climes and clear blue waters...

don kerr

4 years ago #18

Donna-Luisa Eversley?

don kerr

4 years ago #17

Thanks Laura Mikolaitis I have had parts of my anatomy curl up like those rhodo leaves!

Wayne Yoshida

4 years ago #16

I know. Definitely not a "snow car" - the 2-seater had no weight at the rear. Exciting grocery store runs in that thing.

don kerr

4 years ago #15

Pascal Derrien Regardless of one's experience in the snow it is still a challenge and I hold no sense of superiority to my Irish friends who regularly experience all four seasons in the space of 12 hours!

don kerr

4 years ago #14

Kevin Pashuk As always you offer sage advice. I suspect though that deep within that raging introvert heart lies a genuine love for winter walks and photography sessions that require you to venture out onto the ice to shoot lost wedding roses. Or did I just dream that last bit?

don kerr

4 years ago #13

Wayne Yoshida An RX-7 in the winter? You are well and truly bonkers! Grudgingly will admit that if you gotta go with the boots you cannot do better than Sorels. There's a plug for them. God forbid they send me several pair as payment!

don kerr

4 years ago #12

Good on ya Brian McKenzie I must admit I took a slide on the toboggan yesterday. I know I did 'cause my prostate is still celebrating the fun!

don kerr

4 years ago #11

Dean Owen My dear friend Bob Cook moved to Hong Kong from Toronto/Boston/Calgary. All are known 'hot(?)' spots for winter fun. Curiously, he has not returned to enjoy the white stuff. Guessing your experience is similar Dean and can't blame you. I can envy you but I can't blame.

don kerr

4 years ago #10

Paul Walters I had many short and pithy remarks at the ready for you my Balinese friend. I shall resist being baited by your gloating!

don kerr

4 years ago #9

Ah yes, the 'snotsicle'. Todd Jones. Can't imagine the remarkable achievements you've experienced on that front as a lineman for the county!

don kerr

4 years ago #8

OK, Tony Brandstetter, you have busted me. I too love the change of seasons and the rebirth that follows the stillness of winter. I just find it increasingly difficult to keep a positive outlook through February and March in particular!

Paul Walters

4 years ago #7

Don \ud83d\udc1d Kerr Pray tell....what is winter?

Dean Owen

4 years ago #6

Mittens, what a daft invention! And I thought toques only referred to chef's hats.... Having lived in the tropics for nine years, I do appreciate the seasons, but like you, three of them will do! I do miss your writings. Hopefully will be able to see more in 2017?

Wayne Yoshida

4 years ago #5

Darned winter weather commentary from Don \ud83d\udc1d Kerr

Wayne Yoshida

4 years ago #4

Kevin Pashuk said it - My first job after college was in Newington, Conn. USA. One of my friends said that, too. Hans (from Germany) told me, in his stern accent, "There is no such thing as bad weather. Only bad dress." He taught me how to cross country ski and how to drive on snow and ice (although one does not really drive on ice) - using his car, not mine. He was a great friend.

Wayne Yoshida

4 years ago #3

Toque? Checking Google. Oh. A "ski hat." Living Southern California USA, some of these words are not in my vocabulary. Much nice to have to go to the snow when we **want to** rather than it coming to you, Don \ud83d\udc1d Kerr ! However, I lived in snow country for an entire winter season. I went through three sets of tire chains, my car (1987 RX-7) was buried in a snow bank for two months, I went through 4 pairs of gloves (not mittens) and I had to buy a bunch of winter clothes (including long underwear) that I now take out once a year, if that, when I go skiing. But it was worth it. I was a ski lift operator at Mammoth Mountain! Free skiing and boarding and lessons for an entire season! On the winter boots - I still have a great pair of Sorels. Best part about any type of boot? Taking them off! (No, not "Take Off, eh!" as Bob and Doug would say.) Stay warm my friend. You can always come out here for a vacation.

Kevin Pashuk

4 years ago #2

Don... Look up page 29 in the "How to be a Canadian for Dummies" - It states "There is no such thing as bad weather... Only inappropriate clothing." Confidentially, I'm not a fan of the Cole either.

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #1

Mind you , you guys are equipped we had a long episode of snow and artic cold back in 2009 in ireland and the whole country stopped for almost two no salt for the roads no JCMs etc the country was taken by surprise, we refer to it as the BIG FREEZE -10 to 14 that would probably makes you laugh in Canada :-)

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