Per­fectly good rea­sons the ther­mos is un­used

The Woolwich Observer - - SPORTS - STEVE GALEA

AMONG THE MULTITUDE OF out­door tools I have but never use is a very nice ther­mos. I fig­ure this is the way it is for most out­doors­men. Ther­moses are great in the­ory.

Ev­ery hunter buys one with the best in­ten­tions. The hunter fan­ta­sizes about sit­ting on a deer stand on a frigid Novem­ber day and reach­ing into his or her back­pack, and silently pulling out a ther­mos full of steam­ing hot cof­fee or a hearty chicken noo­dle soup.

In that fan­tasy, the keen hunter silently con­sumes the warm con­tents of the ther­mos and is sud­denly re­vi­tal­ized and com­forted again. This sim­ple act al­lows him or her to stay out for a while longer, un­til that 18-point buck tries to sneak by. Luck­ily, once frigid hands are now warmed enough to deftly han­dle a ri­fle and de­liver a deadly shot that drops the an­i­mal on the spot. All this suc­cess can be at­trib­uted to the new ther­mos.

The real­ity is a bit dif­fer­ent, how­ever. It goes some­thing like this.

The hunter reaches for the new ther­mos, opens it

and takes a sip and quickly learns the cof­fee within was hot enough to melt the tiles off of a space shut­tle.

He yelps loudly, then hears hoof beats and looks up to see the big­gest buck he’s ever seen leap­ing over the rise. This causes him to fum­ble for his ri­fle and spill hot cof­fee all over his lap.

He dances and screams and curses so that sev­eral more deer and three grouse flush.

Then, he learns the first rule of ther­mos ther­mo­dy­nam­ics.

Cof­fee that was scald­ing hot when it landed on your lap sud­denly goes ice cold when con­fronted by a frigid north wind and the pas­sage of three sec­onds.

He then spends the re­main­ing time on the stand, al­ter­nately freez­ing and feel­ing the ef­fects of a mi­nor burn. Worse still, when he gets back to camp, ev­ery­one qui­etly as­sumes that his soak­ing wet lap is the re­sult of a close en­counter with a bear.

But enough about the good side of ther­mos own­er­ship.

What ther­mos en­thu­si­asts never di­vulge is that they lost their taste buds long ago in a hor­ri­ble win­ter pole-lick­ing ac­ci­dent. For, if they had taste buds, they would never en­joy con­sum­ing any­thing from a ther­mos.

That’s be­cause ev­ery­thing that comes out of a ther­mos tastes like cof­fee – un­less you filled it with chicken noo­dle soup first. In that case it tastes like chicken noo­dle soup.

There is a firm sci­en­tific ba­sis for why a ther­mos ei­ther tastes like cof­fee of chicken noo­dle soup. It is be­cause when an op­ti­mistic hunter first buys a ther­mos, he fills it up to the brim with ei­ther one or the other. And, be­cause the amount it takes to fill a nor­mal ther­mos is more than the av­er­age per­son can con­sume over three days he heads home with a nearly full ther­mos. Which would be great, if he did not dis­cover this on the morn­ing of the next hunt, five days later.

And, even then, the only rea­son why a hunter even reaches for a ther­mos at that point is be­cause there are strange sounds em­a­nat­ing from it, which, not to worry, are merely the sound of new de­vel­op­ing life-forms.

Don’t worry, though – even if they es­cape, they won’t sur­vive. You see, they prob­a­bly taste like cof­fee or chicken noo­dle soup too.

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