Great thermos in the sky

Humidity is the Great Thermos in the sky:

It makes hot days hotter, and cold days colder.

Or at least it feels that way in Florida on a “hot and sticky” summer day or in Belgium on a “cold and damp” day … any time of year.

The father of a friend of mine, growing up, always had a joke to tell. His son remembers them all, I just a few:

His joke about the “thermos” was my favorite.

One day a rather naïve fellow crossed paths with pedestrian carry a strange canister of a type he’d never seen before.

“So what’s that thing you’re carrying?” he asked inquisitively.

“Why this thing here is a thermos!” he explained matter of factly.

“A thermos?” the naïve fellow repeated, rather hollowly, and with a blank look on his face.

“Yes, it’s a thermos,” the pedestrian responded. “You know – it keeps ‘hot’ things hot and ‘cold’ things cold.”


Days later the pedestrian crossed paths with his new acquaintance at about the same spot … this time, he saw, carrying a shiny brand new thermos of his very own.

“So I see you bought yourself a thermos just like mine,” he interjected (as a way of re-introducing himself and with a tinge of pride in his voice).

“Isn’t it great how it keeps ‘hot’ things hot and ‘cold’ things cold!”

Then he added:

“So what do you have in it?”

“Nothing,” the naïve fellow glumly replied. “I’m on my way now to take it back to the store – it’s broken.”

“Broken? That seems odd.”

“And can you believe it: This is the second one I’ve had to return,” he explained, twirling off the cap and pointing inside.

“I followed the directions just like you said – I put in ‘hot’ soup for lunch and a ‘frozen’ pop sickle for a snack afterwards and all I got each time I poured it out was ‘lukewarm’ mush.”

Hot and humid days in Florida and “cold and damp” days in Belgium sort of make you feel like “mush.”

And for the record:

My friend’s father told it a lot better!

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