Tuesday, January 19, 2010


“That blessed mood
In which the burden of the mystery,
In which the heavy and weary weight
Of all this unintelligible world,
Is lightened.”
- 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.


Angel with dirty fingernails said...

As I'm cowering in my cozy warm office sheltering from the rain, avoiding treacherous roads with crazy Southern CA drivers, your blog post makes me smile!

I also present you with an 'Honest Scrap' award. Congratulations!

chaiselongue said...

Enjoy it - it will be good for the garden! We don't get much rain here (although probably a bit more than you do), but when it does it's of the torrential variety and no one goes out unless they really have to! Southern French drivers are pretty dangerous whether it's raining of not.

Les said...

Sounds like here when they forecast our yearly dusting of snow. The grocery stores pack with people buying bottled water, canned goods and other non-perishables as if it will be weeks before things clear. The only lines longer will be at the liquor store.

Martha in Michigan said...

Thanks for the laughs! I am so glad you actually had significant rain, even as I marvel at its rarity in your environs. How far did it spread? Will Death Valley bloom again?

I recently returned from the Florida panhandle, where I regret not getting photographic evidence of the frozen fountain en route to the Valparaiso airport. At the same time as I thought "Idiots! Why didn't they drain it?" I also appreciated the beauty of it. Kind of one-time beauty, though, as that's hell on the piping....

We in Michigan laugh at your puny weather problems!

greeny said...

Too bad you don't have a few more rain barrels for this event...

日月神教-向左使 said...