The Whalebone Guide to Proper Winter Etiquette

Photo: Slim Aarons

Whether or not you believe in climate change (scientists, we’re talking to you), winter is here to stay. So if you want to make it through the next few months and live to see spring break, you’ve got to suck it up and embrace Old Man Winter for the cold, old man that he is.

Start by embracing the etiquette around these common winter events, and learn to winter with best of them.

1. Proper Jacuzzi Etiquette

The ancient art of hot-tubbing is a winter favorite among many elitists in the upper echelon. But before you strip down and slink in, learn the proper way to hot tub. Follow these rules of Jacuzzi Etiquette to avoid being the creepy got-tubber. No one likes that guy. Or girl. But mostly, that guy.

  • A hot tub is not a warm toilet. Go before you go.
  • One person per jet. Anything more is asking for a restraining order.
  • If it’s not your toe, don’t wiggle it.
  • If you’re getting too hot, it’s probably your turn to make an alcohol run.
  • Avoid eating food in the hot tub such as, but not limited to, potato salad, cotton candy, tomato soup or corn (both on and off the cob).

2. Building-a-Snowman Etiquette

Building a snowman is like riding a bike. Only you can’t fall off, skin your knees and get gravel in your leg. Still, there’s a right way and a wrong way to build a snowman. We’ll talk you through it.

  • While a strategically placed carrot makes for a funny joke, keep it above the buttons.
  • Lumps of coal technically make for good eyes, but they’re environmentally insensitive. So go with rocks instead.
  • Top hats are preferred over long, white pointy ones. This, also applies to hats in general.
  • Don’t make  and/or eat yellow snowmen.

3. Stranded-in-a-Cabin Etiquette

So, you thought a cabin in a winter wonderland sounded like a great idea. Then you became snowed in. The cupboard went bare. The phone, dead. To top it all off, there isn’t even a good-natured serial killer within 10 miles who could potentially put you out of your misery. You’re stranded. If that’s the case, follow these simple guidelines for proper Stranded-in-a-Cabin Etiquette.

  • If you turn to cannibalism, start with the older person first, then work your way down in age.
  • If the cabin is rented in your name, it’s your responsibility to take first grizzly watch.
  • Subtly suggest body heat as a means to survival.
  • If you have a Burt Reynolds-esque chest of hair, offer it up as a blanket.
  • Pass the time by playing “Truth or Dare,” but never dare someone to turn to cannibalism. That’s a choice everyone has to make on their own.

4. Snowball-Fight Etiquette

We’ve all seen those movies where an innocent snowball fight quickly escalates, then turns into a romantic romp in the fresh powder. In real life though, snowball fights can lead to blindness, dislocated shoulders, and that one time, even death. So follow this simple etiquette to keep it cordial:

  • Never pack an object inside a snowball, such as a rock, roll of quarters, or a bowling ball.
  • While funny, avoid shots to the groin and face. Especially your own.
  • Snowballs should never be thrown at the elderly. Unless the elderly throw the first ball. Then it’s game on, old lady.

5. Netflixxxing Etiquette

During the winter, people tend to spend a lot more time indoors. It’s also the perfect time to catch up on Netflix and practice the art of baby-making. Here’s the most appropriate way to do both at the same time.

  • When hosting, let your guest pick the movie. Who’s watching anyways, right?
  • If you’ve already seen the movie and series before, don’t spoil the ending with the hopes of “cutting to the chase.”
  • Make sure your snuggle blanket has been washed since the last snowstorm…
  • If it’s to icy to drive home, continue “chilling.”
  • If you offer your guest some “popcorn,” don’t put the word “popcorn” in air quotes. Popcorn doesn’t have any other meaning. However, “buttered popcorn” is a pretty good time, if you know what we mean.

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Created by Taylor Harkey and Phil Davies for the 2017 Winter Issue. For those of you that may have violated any/every bullet point in this entire article, consider checking out their “Time Travel in Five Easy-to-Follow Steps” guide. Might be able to undo some of the damager, if not enjoy it one more time around.