“That blessed mood
In which the burden of the mystery,
In which the heavy and weary weight
Of all this unintelligible world,
- William Wordsworth
I managed to cut some herbs before the rains came. Forecasters are saying that by the time the third storm moves through So Cal by the end of this wet week, we could get up to 20 inches of rain. So, you might be asking yourself, what’s a little winter rain? In a place where we’ve had so little rain for so long, we tend to over-react when it rains for more than a few hours at a time. Monday’s storm caused Disneyland to close early for goodness sake! Besides, generally speaking, Southern Californians collective skill level in driving in the rain is approximately that of a bus full of rodeo clowns trying to perform brain surgery while the bus tries to outrun the pursuing border patrol. Besides, I’m not even sure where the windshield wiper control is on my five-year old car.
I remember once when I worked in the Ivory Towers of Academia, the entire university closed early due to rain. I had to stay behind because I was in a car pool driven that day by a guy whose job became more critical in bad weather. I answered the phone and spoke to a contractor in Washington DC who thought I was kidding when I told him the entire university was closed due to rain.
Now, the real reason the university let us go home early was that storm drains – unused for years and clogged with debris – were overwhelmed and flooding was endemic; and that the university had thousands of workers who would only make the evening commute more hellacious if we waited until winter’s early darkness to hit the roads.
But I didn’t mention this to the caller. Instead, I explained that the only reason I picked up the phone was that I was still waiting for the cab I had called to pick me up at the door of my building and drive me to my car in the parking lot a block away. I said nobody here owned umbrellas because it never rained, and that we all wore clothing was “dry clean only”, and that I’d just had my hair done and didn’t want to get it wet.
This, of course, confirmed all his latent prejudices about us vain and shallow phonies living in the shadow of Hollywood. It also got me out of doing any serious business with the jerk, so it was a win-win.