Man, it’s cold. Killing cold?#34;the kind that can terminate you if you’re not prepared. Beautiful to be sure, but dangerous. Extraordinary windchill calls for extraordinary measures. It’s time to do battle with Old Man Winter. It’s time to whip out old man longjohns.

Not everyone owns a pair of long underwear. Not sure why underwear is designated as a “pair” since it’s a single garment. Maybe that’s because there are two holes for one’s legs. With long underwear there are two legs for one’s legs. Hence the pair.

Not everyone who owns a pair of longjohns is willing to wear them. Too fashion-backward perhaps?#34;if someone found out, they might guffaw and call you “Gramps.” Pity, because in the war against winter, long underwear is everyman’s secret weapon.

Women figured this out years ago. Instead of nylons, which at least provided some protection, they invented “leggings,” which are not only warmer, they’re also attractive. But men are another breed. We don’t do tights. We scoff at women who wear skirts in cold weather, but we wear pants that provide no real protection. Unless you’re wearing a good stiff pair of blue jeans, the cold goes right through (and up) our pathetic, fashion-forward pants.

But not with long underwear. That secret layer keeps out the sting of windchill. No one has to know. Sure it’s slightly more cumbersome when you have to go to the bathroom, but the tradeoff is worth it. Yes, it could get in the way of a romantic encounter, but there are ways around that (change in the bathroom).

Face it?#34;if you aren’t wearing long underwear today, you’re letting winter win.

The thermometer, I’m told, will not top zero today, but with enough layers, you can tolerate it. When I go out, my only exposure point is my face. Even a muffler can’t cover up everything. And ski masks aren’t an option. Thanks to terrorists and bank robbers, it’s just not a fashion statement most of us are willing to make.

But never fear?#34;these severe cold snaps never seem to last more than a couple of days. On Sunday, it’s supposed to be in the 30s.

At which point a lot of men I know will be wearing shorts.

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