Never Do A Tango With An Eskimo
“Time for the weather report. It’s cold out folks. Bonecrushing cold. The kind of cold which will wrench the spirit out of a young man, or forge it into steel.”- (Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider, Northern Exposure, Lost and Found) Guess there comes to be an entire library of words related to weather and to the much bothering freezing cold that according to the part of the word to which either fatality or the hand of destiny assigned us to be born or perhaps the part of the world where we have deliberately chosen to live, may vary in intensity or be little or less known.
We may either take it for granted or fight against it by moving to warmer lands or simply resist it heroically, adapting our way of living to it. I now feel as if I have transformed myself into some sort of a weather man choosing to broadcast from icy, freezing lands. And even being placed in freezing coldness I may end up looking for a freezing smile on your face and thus I am going to say just like George Carlin once said “Weather forecast for tonight: dark. Continued dark overnight, with widely scattered light by morning.”
And if darkness will eventually make place to light, the cold will still be there. Transmitting from the universe of coldness I shall ask you now to make use of your imagination and envisage waking up in a bed all wrapped in animal hides and a chill freezing air making its way to your face. As you roll over you get to see nothing but sheets and sheets of whiteness all placed next to each other to create a vast whiteness…a whiteness that gets to be the one characterizing the Arctic.
Imagine living in a land where the grounds get to know only perpetual frozenness. On top of this frosted land there gets to be nothing else but bareness as the life of trees is being held impossible here. The plants waking up in the arctic whiteness get to be nevertheless unique surviving strong winds, short summers and sometimes extremely low temperatures and of course frozen, shallow and even infertile soil. Quite a few “enemies” to confront, don’t you agree?
Yet, not only plants have to make it through the cold of certain areas of the globe…coping with tree bareness and vast areas of infertile, frozen soil and above all with what many would consider being unbearable temperatures, temperatures that could simply make even the blood freeze in one. People known for generations now under the name of Eskimos or Inuits have certainly made it through the freezing cold and not just for one day only but for a life-time. These people have chosen to hang their @ and call home such regions as the Arctic and sub-Arctic ones, regions including Siberia and North America. From Eskimos they turned out to be just Inuits, meaning “real people”.
Real people for sure and if taking a close look in the dictionary, according to http://dictionary.reference.com/, Eskimos get to be defined as “members of an indigenous people of Greenland, northern Canada, Alaska and northeastern Siberia, characterized by short, stocky build and light-brown complexion.”
I’d call them people of nature as they have coped with nature in a rather miraculous way, sort of making it their friend and also a close one. They come to have their descendant roots in some ancient whale hunters, hunters who envisaged life as a perpetual migration, a migration that covered all the way from Alaska to Greenland and even the Canadian Arctic area. It is said to have all started a long time ago, around 1000 AD. It cannot be stated that these people had a wide palette of things from which they could choose and this mainly because they found themselves placed in the Arctic, area with few plants, and witnessing cold weather most of the time.
It could thus be stated that Inuits made cold their friend and the Arctic their home and while doing this they ended up being hunters in long winters and gatherers of any eggs, seaweed or much tasty and delicious berries they came across in the short summers bestowed upon them, whatever got to have a different consistence and of course tasting a whole lot different from the meat they devoured all the rest of the time. In their beginnings they simply followed their object of hunting as they highly depended upon it. They had to move following the herds, herds that meant survival. Though animals were important in the equation of survival, of making it to the next day, there was one animal which certainly made it to the first place, namely the caribou.
It was the caribou that provided the early Eskimo food and insulating, warm fur, fur which he badly needed to make it cover his body and thus protect himself from the numbing cold. The harsh conditions sharpened their instincts and called for immediate measures to be taken. And what better way to do this if not by choosing to wear clothes made from warm fur and slip their hands into warm thick –furred gloves, surely protecting them from the sub-zero arctic temperatures?
And much like the French kiss came to be transformed into a legendary kiss, so did the rather weird to many or childish kiss of the Eskimos. Though more of a greeting habit, Eskimos have also written their own stories, by means of rubbing their noses into what many have called a kiss. All wrapped in caribou fur, Eskimos or Inuits, as you may prefer calling them, hanged their coats in homes made out from frozen snow and cutely rubbed their noses when meeting.
While broadcasting from the pole of biting cold “Every drop of ink in my pen ran cold” as Horace Walpole once said, and thus I am going to end it all here and perhaps do the opposite of what Alma Cogan tells us that we should never do, meaning “Never Do A Tango with an Eskimo”, that is if you ever end up at a party in Alaska “You must never do a tango with an Eskimo / No, no, no, oh dear no / When a lady from Nebraska’s at a party in Alaska / She must never do a tango with an Eskimo / You can do it with a Latin, from Manilla to Manhattan / You can do it with a gaucho in Brazil / But if once those Eskimoses start to wiggle their toeses / You can bet your life you’re gonna get a chill / Brrrrrrrr… / You can never do a tango with an Eskimo / No, no, no, oh dear no / If you do, you’ll get the breeze up / And you’ll end up with a freeze up / You must never do a tango with an Eskimo / No, no, no, no, no, no, no / […] You can do it with a sailor from Peru to Venezuela / You can do it with a Apaches in Paree / But if once an Eskimosee starts to cuddle up so cosy / You’ll find your passion cooling, yes sirree / Brrrrrrrr… / You can never do a tango with an Eskimo / No, no, no, oh dear no / And if you do, you’ll get the breeze up / And you’ll end up with a freeze up / You must never do a tango with an Eskimo / No, no, no, oh no, no, no, no / Never do a tango with an Eskimo / No, no, no.” I have to admit I never had the chance to dance with an Eskimo, yet I have been often told that a tango does make one’s blood boil and it may suffice to just warm up the freezing air. Yet, I may be a dreamer only…and end up freeze in the steps of a tango…11