The Well Digger's Ass

by Ken Loge

In the middle of a particularly cold winter a friend, who lives in Chicago, noted that it was “colder than a well digger’s ass.” I hadn’t heard anyone use that phrase in a while and it made me wonder where the phrase came from. I still don’t know the actual origin of the phrase, but as I understand, the traditional job of a well digger required using a shovel and bucket to dig down deep enough into the earth that water would fill the void that was dug out, thus creating a well. (It doesn’t take a genius to compare one’s anus to a hole in the ground, does it?)

Apparently, once you dig deeper than about 10 feet, the ground temperature is a fairly constant 53 degrees Fahrenheit. If a well digger’s ass has conductive properties similar to brass, and the ambient 53 degree temperature transfers evenly to the backside of a well digger’s anatomy, I suppose that might feel chilly, if one’s hands were on said well digger’s buttocks at the time of excavation. Factoring in the effort required to dig a hole in the ground by hand, even by a fairly fit, assiduous well digger, and the notable discharge of internal body heat, a deeper analysis would suggest those buttocks might be a balmy 82 degrees, which as most of us would agree, isn’t that cold. Heck, most of us don’t even get to swim where it’s that warm.

So why is it that well diggers get all the rectal mercurial glory? It’s true that doctors traditionally prefer the temperature taken from a rectal thermometer because it’s supposed to be more accurate. However, despite these common medical beliefs, I assert that rectal thermometers aren’t what they’re cracked up to be, even if used appropriately. Unless there are a lot of scientific data to back it up, there is no logical reason to think a well digger has an ass any colder than anyone else’s.

If we were to consider average ass temperature across various occupations I wouldn’t be surprised if lawyers, on average, have colder asses than well diggers. In fact I’d bet my warmer than average ass they do.

And what about Olympic ice skaters? They MUST have cold asses, spinning around in a Lycra leotard at odd hours of the day and night on the rink, exposing much of their thinly veiled privates, and everything else in that vicinity, to considerably chilly extremes. So let’s try that phrase on for size.

“Brr, it’s colder than an Olympic skater’s ass out here.”

Well, it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue like the well digger phrase, but bobsledders surely have cold asses too, so let’s try that one.

“It’s colder than a bobsledder’s ass out here”.

Yes, much better.

Well, stay warm and take care in covering your ass. You never know how important that core temperature might be.