This just in: it rained hard last week. One could even say this latest series of bad weather was an absolute deluge. At one point, it rained sideways. Streets flooded. Mud flowed. Snow blanketed the mountains. Driving was more akin to suicide. And then the glorious sun returned, bringing with it a sense of normalcy, breaking what many people were beginning to call “cabin fever.”
If you’re a weather geek like I am — and I know you’re out there, especially the guy at the beer shop glued to the online Doppler while ringing me up — you spend most of your stormy day tuned into the madness. It truly is exciting for me to track a monstrous system, as I dig frantically for a trustworthy raincoat and rearrange the patio furniture in preparation for impending doom.
What’s even more entertaining at times is the collective reaction to a big winter storm in San Diego. Put simply, people start to go bananas after more than two days of heavy downpour. A tranquil vibe prevails around town in the beginning, as we dream of brimming reservoirs, clean air and green, green grass. “Could this be an end to the drought?” we ponder.
But after awhile, rain interrupts the daily routine. After two days of schlepping through puddles and sprinting from door to door, we become agitated, yearning for the warm, mellow afternoons of days gone by.
So we turn to the television and our local weather team for answers. And if anyone loves a good storm, it would be the San Diego news media. Their coverage was nonstop, leading many to believe that perhaps the Second Coming of the late J.C. was possible. One station sent a poor neophyte anchor out in the field to get the scoop on the rain in OB. Her pants were soaked, her makeup was running, she wasn’t annoyingly chipper as is typical with her crowd. In short, she was none too pleased to be standing in rain telling everyone what they already knew: it’s raining. Hard.
I finally had enough storm coverage when the evening news interviewed old folks at a mobile home park whose bric-a-brac had been violently blown astray.
“So, what happened here?” asks the news anchor.
“Well, I walked outside and saw Jim’s pink flamingo all the way down the street, and tree branches were all over the place,” says the old man. “This is crazy, and there’s more to come!”
Crazy, indeed. But I suspect the old man was referring to the weather.
By day three, pretty much everyone was prepared to die. San Diego weathermen gravely warned against the unavoidable dangers of traveling during our most current weather crisis. At all costs, stay put and wait this one out, was the report. It must be bad if both Legoland and SeaWorld cancelled all operations for the day, they surmised. We were told to “bring provisions if you absolutely must go about your business during this storm.” Provisions? Like what? Pants and covered shoes?
You would think Noah and his ark already shipped out by day four, leaving the remaining unfortunate souls in quite the predicament. Here’s a day four quote from a concerned elementary school teacher: “Some kids in one class were crying. They were worried about their families and how they’d get home.”
Rain will do that to people. Me? I drank a lot of coffee as I watched the puddles turn into small lakes.
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