Not in Kansas Anymore

June 21, 2010 at 2:06 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I know most of us are aware of the brutal storms that flew through the Midwest region on Friday.  They pretty much appeared out of nowhere and they were not pretty.  The first one came along right about the time I was set to get off of work, which I appreciated.  In a matter of about 15 minutes, the sky went from sunny and decent looking to black with a good chance of menace.  Everyone in my office huddled around windows (smart, I know) and talked about how we felt we were in the opening scene of The Wizard of Oz. I had honestly never seen the sky turn that dark that quickly and so of course I was looking forward to my commute home.

The downpour started right as I walked out the door and my umbrella proved useless within about 5 seconds.  The parking lot I cross to the train station immediately turned into a wading pool and by the time I got to the station I was soaked from head to toe.  The other train passengers looked at me with pity as I discovered the pants I was wearing held about as much water as a Sham-Wow, only they were impossible to wring out.  The A.C. on the train was blaring full blast, so that was a pleasant ride home.

I was supposed to be meeting an old high school friend downtown but once the storm started we decided it would be smarter to just meet up at my place.  By this time the rain had stopped and the sun was actually back out.  Go figure.  After swinging by a bar for some brews and enjoying some delicious Burrito House tacos, it was time for him to head back to his place in the suburbs.  Because I’m such a good friend, I walked him the half mile back to the el station.  When I got home I sat down with another adult beverage and was looking forward to spending the rest of the evening on my couch.  I was speaking briefly with my Mom when I realized another storm was coming and  I was in the process of closing windows when my high school chum beeped through, in a panic because he couldn’t find his keys.  I looked around and sure enough, he had left them behind a pillow on my couch.  Since he’s a city neophyte and wasn’t sure he could get himself back to my place, I sucked it up and said I’d come to him.  Lucky me, I got to walk back to the station in the eye of Scary Storm Part Deux.

I put on my rain boots and jacket and went back into the night.  I skipped the umbrella altogether for a couple of reasons: 1) I didn’t think it would do me a damn bit of good and 2) I always wonder if it’s a good idea to carry around a metal stick during a lightning storm.  I’m sure it’s fine and all but with the insane horizontal flashes we were getting, I didn’t want to become a statistic or contender for the Darwin Awards, so I left it at home.

I was right, it wouldn’t have done me any good.  Winds were blowing up to 60 mph and the rain just did not stop.  I was soaked (again) as soon as I walked outside and I was also just about the only poor fool out on the sidewalk.  After a block or so I just started laughing and decided to roll with it.  There was nothing I could do anyway so I began jumping in the biggest puddles I could find (the recent beers I had ingested probably helped with this).  I looked like a grown up version of the kid in this picture and I’m not going to lie, it was pretty fun.  Until I got scared by the lightning, which was flashing its worst around the time I arrived at the station.  I stayed there for a while and the rain (slightly) let up for my walk home.  I didn’t even mind when a passing car sprayed me with gallons of dirty street water, because at that point it wasn’t going to make a bit of difference.  Once I finally got home, it took a while to peel myself from my wet garments but the warmth of my shower and the comfort of my couch made it all better.

In a surprising turn of events, I was sore as all get out on Saturday.  I woke up and could barely stretch without causing myself great pain.  It took a few minutes of trying to remember if I had been attacked by ninjas on my walk home but I eventually figured that my body must have been hurting from battling the storm the night before.  Am I that out of shape/that much of a wimp?  Apparently so.

I also must give a shout out to my concerned mother, who left me a frantic voicemail on Saturday after she saw news reports of the storm.  I was taking a nap (heaven forbid) and missed her call so when I awoke I was greeted to her panicky voice asking if I was dead in some street gutter.  Since she hadn’t heard from me since right before I trekked out into that miserable night I don’t blame her, but I had to smile at how freaked out she was when I didn’t answer right away.  Sorry for worrying you, Mommy Dearest, but I got that napping gene from you.

I don’t know where the puddle jumping gene came from but I sure am glad it’s there.


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