Winter is Coming!

Congratulations, guys. Despite all your best efforts of boozing and other activities driven by depression, you’ve made it to another installment of pine-scented anxiety season, known by most as “Christmas season.” This time of year there are a few things you can lean on (heavily) to ensure you make it through (with the least amount of time possible spent lying on the floor, sweat breaking out and b-hole clenching every time there’s a knock at the door or the phone rings). Knock knock. Who’s there? Anxiety.

Now that you’ve finally schlepped through pumpkin-flavored-everything season, you’ve stumbled on peppermint. On the Candyland board of 2014 we’ve made it past “Plumpy,” the green Teletubbie with a Fu Manchu (see also: Wilford Brimley with Fu Manchu. Either way, you know that fucker has a pressing case of Diabetes). Now we’re on to “Mr. Mint,” who looks like an alternative universe Waldo (of Where’s Waldo fame), with a penchant for pink and a wicked coke habit (as demonstrated by the giant pink nose).

So. ‘Tis the season for minty fresh libations, particularly peppermint schnapps. I recommend carrying a thermos of hot chocolate around at all times, as well as a Camelbak backpack stuffed to the gills with more schnapps. Employing this method will ensure you are at least 7-12% more enthusiastic about the stupid hoops you have to jump through every day. Assigned a group project in school? Peppermint schnapps! Caught in a sudden downpour? Peppermint schnapps! Keep stepping in the same pile of dog shit outside your front door? PEPPERMINT SCHNAPPS.

Once you’ve felt ol’ Peppy Schnauzer take hold, before leaving the safety of your house, wrap a scarf around your face. Heck, wrap two. Something needs to be there to deafen the minty fresh burps that will come periodically blasting from your most prominent face hole. Also, don’t forget your headphones. The coldest rain and the worst winds can’t darken your brain folds when the sweet sounds of Cuban songbird Miss Gloria Estefan are in your ears. I recommend “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You” and “Hot Summer Nights” on a loop.

After the day is done, the hoops are laid to rest, and you’re back in your Fortress of Solitude with Peppy and Gloria, now is the time to revel in electricity. Specifically when combined with a blanket. I was gifted an electric blanket when I lived in the Pacific Northwest, and it’s still my favorite gift I’ve ever received. Having a reprieve from the outside world like Electric Blanket Land to return to at night is the very best. If you’re like my fellow columnist Sean Galloway and you prefer a home within a home (we’re talkin’ ‘bout forts, here), then take it from me; an electric blanket as the foundation of your fort is the best way to fortify (see what I did there?) your acropolis. Now. Gather your supplies, and prepare yourself. Winter is coming.

Zooey Mae has been working as a writer monkey for Synthesis Weekly since 2007. Her favorite things include (but are not limited to), Jeffrey Brown, bubble wrap, Craig Thompson, pillow forts, receiving handwritten letters, and whiskey. She spends her free time stockpiling supplies for the impending robot Apocalypse and avoiding eye contact with strangers.