Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Edmonton Coworker: You wanna run down for a cup of coffee?
Matt: Is it in the building? Do I need a coat?
Edmonton Coworker: No, you don't. We're just going right downstairs.
. . .
Matt: [following coworker towards the outside door] I thought you said it was "right downstairs?"
Edmonton Coworker: Yeah, it's just across the street. You'll be okay. Just follow along.
. . . At which point I observed something which deserved mention on a Discovery Channel nature documentary: a line of about nine coatless Edmontonians, lined up along the glass doors in the building vestibule, each with his or her right cheek pressed hard against the glass, as the snow flurries drifted by just a few centimetres away.
"What are they doing?!?" I thought to myself. "Is this the way to gauge the temperature, or. . . ." But before I could finish my thought, I heard my coworker chanting under his breath, "3 . . . 2 . . . ."
"Now!" they all shouted in unison, and broke into a pavement-pounding full-on sprint out the doors into the -29C wind-chill air. Someone's grip on my arm dragged me onto the sidewalk right along with them. The signal for the cross traffic turned yellow just as we made it through the door outside. Almost the instant we reached the corner, the light turned red, and we angled into the street.
The cold air burned my lungs with each fast deep breath as I continued running.
We burst through the doors of the shopping mall on the other side as one solid mass, and as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened, the whole group dissolved into a flutter of scattered individuals casually strolling through the mall.
Edmonton Coworker: See? That wasn't so bad, was it?