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Mittens keep your hands warm in the most awkward way possible. They have all the functionality of five fingered gloves, save for the functionality part. Their only draw is the empathy they grant the wearer when they experience, firsthand, what life is like after a thresher accident. As a species, we are designed for fingers. Small paddles in place of our normally agile appendages is a direct violation of the evolutionary law in place since time immemorial. If one day, while out about your average pedestrian business -- buying a chainsaw, motorcycle, duct tape and video camera, for example -- you happened upon a man who had one giant, flat finger and one regular sized thumb, you would be aghast. Why is he like that, you would wonder. What happened to him? Was it a birth defect? Industrial acid accident? Irradiated penguin bite? Whatever the answer, you would come away from the experience knowing one thing and one thing only: That man is forced to live as a mono-fingered monstrosity for the remainder of his days. And you do not envy him.

This guy is more formidable than literally everyone in mittens.

And yet here you are; buying mittens. You are paying somebody to wind back your evolutionary clock a few million years. Why? There have to be some upsides. Let's examine them:

The mitten is very warm. This is true, and it deserves at least that recognition. It is warmer than a glove... in the same way that four naked men in one sleeping bag are much warmer than four men in four separate sleeping bags. But six nights out of seven, we'll choose the separate bags, thank you (Sunday is God's day off; everything is fair game). But, much like the aforementioned Bag O' Dudes, the warmth of the mitten inevitably comes with an expense: sweaty, greasy, disgusting digits. They slide past each other in a sick, squicky and twisted ballet that leaves no victor but shame. But mittens are built to combat cold, right? Screw dignity, function and tactile pleasantness; this is about survival. Mittens protect you from snow, so any price is fair.

Snow is man's 19th greatest enemy, under "Salmonella" and right above "smothered by cat."

Except they don't.

If you pack a snowball with a mitten and throw it, you are only delivering, at best, 80 percent of that snow to the back of your stupid sister's dumb head. Likewise with the next snowball, and the next, until what you're left with is a snow-encrusted flipper in place of a once useful, noble, purposeful hand. A mitten is to snow as a pimp is to hos; it always takes its cut. With a glove, you can wiggle fingers, stretch the hand or use your free digits to carefully wipe away the accumulation. With a mitten, the best you can do is dully wave your frost-encaged limbs and hope that the rescuers realize you are in need of help, and not just really stoked to see them.

So what the hell are they for?

Keeping children safe from the dangers of fingers?

Babies. A baby with mittens on is a fine baby. Look at their moronic little hands. They are basically clubs. Sure, they manage the occasional grip, but that's like a cat getting one claw stuck in a blanket: It is an accident of the body that only serves to confuse and enrage them. A baby's hands do nothing but slap and paw at the things they want, because they do not understand there are ways to acquire necessities aside from hitting (kicking, for example). In short, mittens are fine for a baby because they have little to no effect on their dexterity, and in fact may beneficially limit their presumptuously grasping fingers.

What, were you gonna type a letter? You're a damn baby.

Another possible demographic for the mitten: Dolphins, or possibly Dolphin-men.

The mitten represents pure, unadulterated hydrodynamics. It is only logical to make the connection between mittens and the dolphin. The dolphin can swim quickly primarily because of its thick, paddle-like fins. Fins that look suspiciously like mittens. The argument that dolphins are the descendants of early humans who simply couldn't give up their mittens is a highly logical one, regardless of how many times the scientific community refuses to publish our papers.

There. We've examined the mitten's pros, the way they interact with their intended environment, and their key demographic. We've played devil's advocate long enough. Now, the cons:

Oh crap! We forgot! Mitten-jobs.

Unless your day consists solely of picking up and moving bowling balls, then high-fiving the owners of said balls, the simple act of wearing a mitten will make all else virtually impossible. The time you wear a mitten is time that you do nothing but wear mittens.

Furthermore, one of the things that separate man from beast is the ability to effectively indicate what it is we want from others -- what will allow us to best accomplish our objectives together. Communication is how we connect with our fellow human beings. Up to 93% of our communication is nonverbal, and our hands comprise the bulk of that communication. A human's ability to communicate in this manner is drastically hindered by the brutish hand-cage.

Don't you see? The mitten destroys the connection between human beings.

"That thing. No, the other, thing. Don't you see it, it's right next to you! It's ju-no, nevermind. It's too late. We're all dead."

Would you buy a pair of pants without foot holes at the bottom? No, that minimizes fluid mobility. You realize that is a bad thing, because you haven't taken a shovel blow to the head lately; you are still capable of recognizing that being bipedal is the natural state for a human being. Any item of clothing that seeks to take away that state, is a fundamentally flawed item.

Such is the mitten.

Would you buy a straight jacket for use in cold weather? It's probably warm. It's like you're hugging yourself, all the time. So why not? Because you know the answer to one simple question: Why do we have straight jackets?

A: To contain the flailing limbs of madness.

And because some people can't ejaculate without one.

The straight jacket eliminates one of the primary advantages we have in the animal kingdom, because the wearer has been deemed too crazy to be allowed those advantages. It is an item of clothing whose primary distinction is the ability to make a human being altogether worse.

Much like clogs.

Such is the mitten.

Our dexterity is simply and thoroughly crushed by the sheer power of the mitten. It's awe inspiring, really. One small, continuous scrap of fabric has the power to essentially nullify millions of years of natural selection. What can you do about it? Have compassion for the lost souls that knit the mittens; know that they know not what they do. Pity the poor souls afflicted by the wearing of the mitten, and let them hear your gospel so their lives might shine out again. Empathize with the store-owners selling the mitten, and do not hate them, but rather seek to enlighten them so that we might finally move on from this dark age. But most of all, we beseech you: Console the ambidextrous. They have it the worst; twice the demoralization for the same low, low price.

This warning brought to you by cough syrup and night terrors.

Instead of buying a pair of mittens, you should totally purchase our our new book! And be sure to check out 5 Clothing Innovations That Will be Annoying You Soon.

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