Cold Country Mornings – Humorous Reflections

Since I am plagued with being a very early riser, (hmm, early riser, maybe the title of a future humorous story. like Easy Rider in Geezer Land) the tasks of warming up the house and making the coffee fall to me. Not complaining, mind you. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Besides, I can do the nap thing later to make up for lousy sleep.

So, with my first cup of coffee in hand and the pellet stove warming my bones, a funny old saying comes to mind. As a boy, I just figured that it was in reference to a monkey statue, but that’s not the case.

The saying is; “Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.” Have you heard it? Well, it turns out that it is an old navy term. Yep, not about frozen monkey statue junk, but something entirely different.

On old Navy ships, the cannonballs were stored on a brass pan-like device on the deck to keep them from getting loose in rough seas. This device was called a monkey. The only problem was that the brass of the monkey expanded and contracted at a different rate than the iron cannon balls. So, in really cold weather the difference in contraction caused the cannon balls to come loose. Hence the term, “cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.”

So, there you have it. The musings of an old mountain man hunkered up to the pellet stove on an early, cold morning. No monkeys were harmed during the writing of this post. 😉

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