The Floor Is Ice

Most people reading this will know a variation on that game called something like ‘the floor is lava’. You know, you have to escape the living room only touching furniture. It’s fun, encourages resourcefulness and ingenuity, and has a healthy amount of self-imposed challenge to it that is good for young minds.

When you’re a grown-up, you get to play a harder version called ‘the floor is bloody freezing‘ and you have to play it every morning until you (actually) die. The only way to win is to not play, but that also involves losing your job and starving. (It’s funny how long you will entertain these alternatives, depending on how good that morning’s sleep was.)

Many Korean apartments and hotels have something called ‘ondol’ (온돌) – heated floors. Instead of radiators or air-conditioned heating, the underside of your linoleum-covered masonry floor is warmed by the hot water system. There’s perfectly good historical and cultural reasons for such a system. To a Western troglodyte such as myself, it needs nothing more than to free me from the floor game to be worth its alarmingly cheap monthly bills for certain utilities like it’s sort of scary Korea is this sustainable

I turn it on for a few hours after finishing work at night, so by the time I’m ready for bed I can turn it off and the heat lasts overnight. My mattress, which lies on the floor, absorbs the heat, which is wonderful for the winter. The new problem: this is it. Now that I effectively achieve ideal human hibernation conditions every single night, what possible reason is compelling enough to break this incredible chrysalis? This is where the overweight future people in Wall-E started going wrong, I bet.

Oh, alright, fine, food. I guess.

Has anyone ever truly Rube Goldberg-ed their way into never having to get out of bed, without the assistance of other people? Follow your dreams! Aim high!


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