Do not read when it's cold.

More specifically, do not read when you're cold.

A sad, sad story...

Curled upon a bed in the guest room, under three comforters and with one heavy American Bulldog across my shins, I was comfortable as could be while reading one of my favorite trashy books. The shallow plot and simple-minded characters put my overworked mind at ease. Luxuriating in the warmth of my little hideaway, I stretched my arms high above my head and opened my mouth to yawn. Instead, I screamed.

The reading light I had turned on to give my eyes a break from their constant strain had been running for quite some time. My forearm had brushed against the burning piece of metal, and I could see several welts forming.

Later that day, after treating my wounds with silver sulfadiazine found in the back of a lonely cupboard, I returned to my cozy spot to continue reading. Having left it vacant for a while, there was no warmth to be found in the frosty blankets. I have little to no body heat, and would freeze if not for the aid of my mattress warmer in the arctic climate of western Michigan. The lamp, which I had foolishly left turned on during my absence, was radiating heat. I decided to hold my hands by it until I warmed up.

Unfortunately, the heat was unable to penetrate my skin. I kept holding my hands closer, and closer, until finally I was touching the light and still shivering. But eventually, my hands began to warm some, and I decided to give my arms a chance. I foolishly placed them in direct contact with the lamp, and received several new blisters to tend.

I have never claimed any sort of intelligence, and this experience reminded me why.

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