Greetings, my fellow port swillers!
No, I’m not talking about that wretched post-WWII generation who currently are raping the Republic of all the wealth on which they can lay their mitts before they die off and who are, also, directly responsible for the rise of a generation of Millennials who are in the process of establishing a reign of Precious Snowflake Fascist Terror that will eventually come to a painful, violent end when the Gods of the Copybook Headings return.*
Instead, I’m talking about good, old-fashioned, thunderstorms, some of which came a-calling in the neighborhood of Port Swiller Manor this evening. First time this season.
Ol’ Robbo used to be quite frightened of thunder and lightning. I recall distinctly an incident in my misspent yoot in San Antonio. My bedroom window looked out on a hackberry tree in our back yard, maybe 50 yards or so from the house. One evening during a storm (I think when I was in high school), I walked in and looked out just in time to see the poor tree hit by a lightning bolt. (You can always tell that you’re close to a strike because you can hear a distinct vzzzzzt!! before you hear the thunder.) I hit the deck completely by instinct, all my fears of my earlier yoot very much reenforced. (I believe that same poor tree got knocked down by either a microburst or an F0 tornado a few years later when I was away at college.)
Anyhoo, I gradually overcame said fear, to the point where I now quite enjoy watching a storm in all its fury. To sit out on the deck this evening and watch the cell scud past us to the east while the bats flitted about overhead was very delightful.
A little game I like to play in this season is Beat The Storm. My office is about 14 miles southeast of Port Swiller Manor. When conditions are stormy, I take a good, hard look at the radar just before I leave work. If there are storms about, the game is to decide whether to slap the sides up on La Wrangler or to see if I can just beat them home bare-sided. In some cases, I have cut this close enough that the deluge has hit literally between the time I got into my garage and the time I tried to go back out to the mailbox to retrieve the evening bills. Very gratifying when I get it right.
And lest you think Ol’ Robbo is delusional on this point, let me just note that others play the same game. A couple years back, I was on a late-afternoon flight from Dee Cee to Cleveland when the captain announced we were going to take off a couple minutes ahead of schedule. I didn’t think much of it until, during our descent, the sky suddenly got awfully dark (and the plane suddenly got awfully quiet). We came down smoothly enough, but by the time we were taxiing to the gate, the heavens had opened up and the tempest was crashing down all round us. That sum’bitch pilot had beat it in with seconds to spare.
Once I retrieved my jangled nerves, I tipped my metaphorical hat to the fellah.
*No, but it felt damned good to get that off my chest.