The Basement Files: Hibernation preparation


South Dakota recently got a dose of reality in the form of a couple of feet of fresh white snowfall. Inconvenient to say the least, but it’s October, and as we’ll be reminded of way, way too many times in the next few weeks, we can get hammered by snowfall here at any time now. Remember that Halloween blizzard? Don’t worry, it’s going to get mentioned, as it does every year, until you can’t stand to hear about it anymore … unless of course you channel your inner college-student and turn it into a drinking game. Then again, both those ways end up with a nasty headache, but I’m getting off track.

Fact of the matter is, snow is coming, and it is time for us basement dwellers to go into hibernation-mode, because who wants to be a productive member of society when you have to wade through waist-deep snow to your car just to find the door frozen shut, the battery dead and the roads impassable (especially Pine Street, been down that way recently? Someone thought it would be a good idea to cramp the intersections so people would stop sneaking around to make right-hand turns. Plow and bus drivers must just love you guys.) So it’s time to hoard, and get ready for the long haul.

One of, nay, the biggest thing to do before the flurries hit the fan is to make sure your couch is ready for “prime time.” Cushion conditions are of the upmost importance, because if your butt isn’t happy this winter, you’ll be crabby, and people will like you even less than they do now.

Used cushions fall flat, and you’ll be constantly shifting positions to get comfy, while brand new cushions will need to be broken in.

Some folks, particularly of the female type, happen to like tiny decorative pillows around the sofa. These are no good. Have you ever tried to take a nap on one of these? They are uncomfortable, scratchy, and if you happen to accidently sit on one, you are in for a tongue lashing. You will need a good pillow though, and you should go straight for a bed pillow. Naps may be few and far between in the summer, but in winter, a comfy couch and a good pillow are irreplaceable.

Now that the “sittin’ spot” is taken care of, it’s time to stock up on warm, caffeinated, all-age beverages. You can go for the “adult-beverages,” if you like, but outside of football Sundays I really don’t see the point … and I’m not nearly as addicted to alcohol as I am to caffeine — it’s a serious problem. As for drinks, there are a couple of ways to go. Some like hot cocoa and hot apple cider, which I do too, but they just don’t provide the kick I need, which is where coffee and tea come in. Between snoozes, I prefer going for a nice, smooth, medium-roast coffee. I know dark-roast is popular, but you have to remember, the more the bean is roasted, the less caffeine.

As for tea, you can get rid of the summertime greens and head straight to the red and black teas. orange pekoe is great, but I prefer going for some blends to keep things interesting, specifically English breakfast or Earl Grey. Complex flavors for a discerning palate. None of that herbal stuff either. Just because it was a plant, allegedly, and you seeped it in water doesn’t make it a tea, especially if it contains no actual tea leaves. You can take that witches’ brew and dump it. Last time I tried one of those concoctions, I spent a week in the bathroom.

Now that you’ve stocked up on liquids and have a comfy place to relax, all that is left is to gather up every delivery number you know, brew a cup of something, turn on the TV, and veg-out, for the next nine months.