I guess cold is in the skin of the beholder

Those of you that know me know that I am a beach fanatic. If there is a square inch of sand next to a thimble-full of water, I’m in the water.

New England water, however, can be a might chilly. Even in late July or mid-August, most beach water is quite cold. Oh, I’ll go in, by my dick will shrink to the size of a cheese doodle and my testicles will migrate up to my sternum. And I’ll bitch and whine about the cold. But I’ll go in.

Things get better in the Gulf Stream. You can actually stay in the water for a good 30 minutes and not feel too cold. On some, beaches, it’s quite comfortable. Warm, even.

I spent the last week and a half in such waters. I got very used to it. On the last day of vacation, we spent a little time on a beach where the water was comfortable, but let’s just say refreshing and brisk.

Later that day, I went to a public pool. I was expecting a bit of a chill, but was surprised to find it like bathwater. It was nearly body temperature. It was almost hot. It was almost gross.

As I marvelled at the warmth, a woman entered the pool. Her comment? “Oh, cold cold cold! So cold! This water is freezing! Why can’t they heat this? I have to get out! This is like ice water!”

Sheesh, lady, next time we’ll stick you into a rolling boil.

There’s an Ogden Nash poem that goes something like:

I am always moved to lament
That what is so warm to the hand
Is so cold upon the fundament.

Words to that effect, anyway. As one who likes his bathwater hot, but swimming pools reasonably cool and refreshing, I sympathise. The public pool where I swim is kept at about 29-30 degrees C, and when I get out after a swim I start sweating. Around 22 would be so much nicer, and less tiring to swim in.

Why not take her straight to the boiling oil?

When we were in Europe on a tour once, at a lake in northern Italy our Austrian guide told us that this lake was very popular for swimming because it’s very warm - 55 degrees! We said, “Farenheit?” He said yes, Farenheit. We told him we don’t even get in the water unless it’s at least 86 and even then I won’t like it - I like it much warmer. He said “But that’s like a bath! You’d sweat in the water!” And I thought, “Mmm, water so hot you’d sweat! Sounds lovely!”

Yeah, well, 55 celcius is pretty damn warm. Even you might not like it.

But seriously, I have rarely entered a pool warmer than the public one was the other day. What are people used to that they think that’s too cold?

OK, there was this indoor pool in a motel in Rockport. Tres toasty. It was basically a jacuzzi with a deep end. I guess it was that way because of the mostly eldery clientel.