Here in Oklahoma we're suffering from near-record cold temperatures -- with the worst problem being that while we've had single days with temps this cold or colder, we haven't strung together several days of the zero-neighborhood readings for quite some time.
The coldest day I ever experienced was Super Bowl Sunday in January of 1985, when I was regularly freezing my hind end off in Evanston, Illinois. As I recall, some of the wind-chills expected during the daytime were around 80 below. So most everybody stayed inside as much as they could, although there was probably some loon from Minnesota walking around going "What's everyone inside for on a balmy day like today?" They were like that.
Complications developed, however. I was a dorm officer (I can't remember why), a position which, in an all-male dorm on Super Bowl Sunday, carried with it certain expectations. Namely, that a variety of salty snacks needed to be purchased for the evening's game watching.
I know, you would suspect that students at a school like Northwestern would be above plebian entertainments like television, let alone televised sporting events, let even more alone an event like football instead of something refined and dignified like badminton or croquet.
In any event, the game would be watched by me and my fellow Hinman House Friars, and in order to sustain our energy and thus help our favorite team win -- they were counting on us, after all -- we would need those salty snacks. But the bitter cold meant that no one's car would start.
The solution arrived in the form of a guy who had parked nearest the door to the dorm the day before and who had run an extension cord out the door, which he attached to an electric blanket placed under his hood. His car would start. And for a fee -- if I recall he was in the school of business -- he would get people around town.
During the day, the Arctic blast moved out and things gradually warmed, with a wind chill factor near zero. So during the game, we were able to order pizza. The delivery driver worked for a company that, at the time, did not allow drivers to take tips. We tried to get our driver to take one, as he had braved what was still pretty frickin' cold weather, some ice and a generally cruddy night to deliver our rations. But he said he couldn't, as it would get him fired. Being college students, we hit upon an alternate solution:
"Well, you wanna warm up here for a minute and have a beer?"
"Drivers are taking forever on their deliveries tonight; the dispatcher don't expect me back for 20 minutes. Sure."
And they all lived happily ever after.