Greetings, my fellow port swillers!
As I’m sure you all know, that massive storm system which has been pounding the Mississippi Valley and the Southeast the last few days finally reached the East Coast today.
Indeed, it arrived at Port Swiller Manor with unusual authoritah. At about 3:30 ack emma this morning, I suddenly realized that I was awake and that things were unusually hushed. A split-second later, an all-mighty KA-BOOOOOOOOM!!!! broke out, apparently directly overhead, shaking the house pretty hard. My theory is that there must have been one or more set-up crashes that yanked me far enough out of the dreamless to appreciate the master-stroke. Ma Nature. What a bitch.
It would seem, upon review, that the Port Swiller Ladies all experienced very much the same thing. (It certainly explained why teh youngest gel was crashed on the sofa in Mr. and Mrs. Robbo’s bedroom when I got up a couple hours later.)
Anyhoo, as Dave Letterman used to say back in the days when he was actually funny (I’m talking circa 1983-84 here), it pretty much rained canned hams all day today. For whatever reason, this particular “meteorological event” – as they like to call it – seems to have produced more concentrated, weapons-grade stoopid than ol’ Robbo has seen in a long, long time.
First, let me backtrack just a bit. The Weather Channel (“TWC”) has been milking this storm system for all its worth. Yesterday, while dialing through on their website to get to the national radar, I couldn’t help noticing that their homepage headline was blaring out, “75 Million In Potential Danger From Storm Moving East!”
All I can say is, thanks a lot, TWC. Teh eldest gel spotted that headline and has been in borderline panic mode since. She called me half a dozen times today. “Is there going to be a tornado?” “Is our house in danger from flooding?” “Are we going to lose power?” (My answers were no, no and how the hell should I know but what difference does it make?) Fear-mongering may generate ratings, but it also has real-world consequences.
Second, while I often mock the driver idiocy that Storm of teh Century of the Week snow brings out around these parts, at least it’s pokey idiocy for the most part. Bucketing rain seems to spawn its own particular and distinctly different class of Darwin Awards candidates. To wit:
– There seems to be some kind of correlation between car color and driver cluelessness. With visibility down to just a few yards, I couldn’t help noticing again on my drive home this evening that every single car running without headlights was some shade of nearly-invisible gray, brown or blue. Message to drivers: Turn on your freakin’ lights! It’s not so you can see, but so that we can see you!
– Locals around here typically approach ice or snow on the roads as if they are trying to tiptoe through minefields. Annoying, but arguably prudent. Give them standing water on the road, however, and they charge through it like a squad of cavalry pursuing broken infantry. Ugliness ensues.
– No, Virginia, heavy rain does not mean you can ignore basic traffic regulations such as four-way stops and yield signs.
– Finally, a driver coming down a residential street opposite me this evening at the rate of knots absolutely soaked some poor fellah out walking his dog by plowing through the ponding water next the curb. To me, this is one of those particularly nasty little examples of civic boorishness: Not obviously physically harmful, but so evident of lack of regard for one’s fellows as to cause the head to shake. Yeah, whoever that driver was, you got to where you were going a few minutes earlier. As Jesus said, you’ve had your reward.