Baby, it's cold outside in Florida. How cold is it?

Posted January 5, 2018 2:53 p.m. EST

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- As a full-service local news columnist, I feel it's my duty to help you gain sympathy from your friends and relatives in other parts of the country who imagine that we are always spared from cold weather in Florida.

The current cold spell that has blanketed Florida is a rare opportunity for us to curry sympathy from people elsewhere who constantly complain about how cold their winters are. And even though we don't have zero-degree temperatures and blizzard snowfalls, we have a marginally respectable cold snap on our hands -- certainly by Florida standards.

So it would be a shame to waste this moment. Who knows? It may be years before we get to complain again about how cold it is in Florida.

If you can't think of any one-liners on your own to dash off to your Northern friends, don't worry. I've come up with some you can use.

Here we go.

It's so cold in Florida that ...

... panhandlers on I-95 exit ramps have changed their signs to read "Will Work for Fur."

... Disney World has added penguins to the Jungle Cruise ride.

... the men in Century Village have switched their pants to Bermuda longs.

... stacks of that new Steve Bannon-inspired book are being used as firewood at Mar-a-Lago.

... a beach lifeguard in Lake Worth had to rescue a sunbathing Speedo-wearing Canadian.

... even women who aren't Wellington equestrians are wearing knee-length boots in Whole Foods.

... emotional-support Chihuahuas are refusing to leave home to shop at the mall with their owners.

... the state's tourism agency, Visit Florida, has disconnected its phone.

... Palm Beach men are wearing socks with their penny loafers.

... in a public opinion survey, the answer "to avoid the wind chill" has become the No. 1 reason cited by South Florida residents for why they would try the new Brightline train.

... Puerto Ricans are going back to Puerto Rico.

... the local strippers are doing free lap dances just to stay warm.

... the Miccosukees in the Everglades have started wearing Burmese pythons as scarves.

... half of Florida residents have discovered sweaters they forgot they had.

... people younger than 75 are ordering soup at TooJay's deli.

... the mermaids at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park are freezing their tails off.

... the greyhounds at the Palm Beach Kennel Club are opting to stay inside their starting boxes.

... Vanilla Ice in Wellington is too cold to rap.

... palm trees are dropping more frozen iguanas than coconuts.

... nudists at Sunsport Gardens in Loxahatchee are marking the occasion with a new festival called ShrinkFest.

... the Margaritaville apparel store has pulled its flip-flops.

... undocumented Central American immigrants are considering self-deportation.

... people are showing up at Waffle House in the hopes of being near a grease fire.

... the city of Frostproof is worried about frost.

... all over South Florida, homeowners are learning what lousy heaters their reverse-cycle air conditioners make.

Frank Cerabino writes for The Palm Beach Post. Email: fcerabino(at)pbpost.com.

Story Filed By Cox Newspapers

For Use By Clients of the New York Times News Service

Capitol Broadcasting Company's Opinion Section seeks a broad range of comments and letters to the editor. Our Comments beside each opinion column offer the opportunity to engage in a dialogue about this article.

In addition, we invite you to write a letter to the editor about this or any other opinion articles. Here are some tips on submissions >> SUBMIT A LETTER TO THE EDITOR