Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Rain, rain, go away- part two

The city is awash and my toes are wet.

Apparently tomorrow morning I've got to slog through some weather-warning quality epic storm to make a 9am class. I really wish I could play professional while wearing gumboots and sweatpants some days.

I've lived in this city of rain (that one whose name we don't say even though half of you have figured it out!) for three years now. It is a funny thing to become well versed in a culture of downpour. One can never quite prepare for the impact that water plummeting from the sky can have on your day-to-day life.

As such, I decided to educate you all on the few things heavy rainfall has taught me:

- The effects of rain are felt several fold for us poor souls sans automobile. I can't tell you how many times I've cursed the existence of commuters in their pre-warmed sedans as I walk blocks with my umbrella turned inside out or huddle under a few millimeters of bus shelter.

- Rain is the ultimate detector of nooks and crannies. The road looks flat in the summer? Think again. There is a big enough dip where you step off the crosswalk to create a pool that could drown a small child. It's like ten feet across and the water comes up past my ankles, people!

- A special brand of puddle, found only in the autumn? The camoflagued leaf puddle. It looks like yet another stompable pile of leaves... but don't be deceived. Beneath it lies a watery cavern.

- Rain brings out the creepy-crawlies. You already know about slugs' penchant for my front stoop. Today I saw a tremendously long earthworm skittering along as well. Poor guy's home has been flooded!

- Humidity hair sucks. Downpour hair is shot for the entire day. There is no salvaging your appearance. I am clueless as to how a stream of water (which is what you shower in, for Christ's sake!) can cause so many tangles.

- Not only does the hazard of rain force one to be accompanied by an umbrella a good chunk of the time (and is especially problematic when you have a tendency to leave them under chairs as I do), but it also forces you to become versed in the details of umbrella etiquette.

A few examples, for those of you less skilled in this decorum as I:
~ Walking under an awning with an open umbrella is a no-no when non-umbrella'd folks are around.
~Size matters, folks, but not in the way you think. People who (seriously!) are too lazy to buy a real umbrella, and thus pull out their oversized patio umbrellas and take up an entire sidewalk should be drowned in a crosswalk puddle.
~When two similar sized people are walking towards each other on a narrow sidewalk, one of you has to stretch the umbrella above your head for you both to fit. Do not attempt to play umbrella chicken to see who budges first.
~Do not wait until the last second to board the bus to fumble with closing your umbrella. You saving two seconds exposed to the rain is not worth forcing the rest of us, who had already pre-closed our umbrella, to get soaked for several more seconds.
~And, finally, do not put your wet umbrella on the bus seat beside you. That sludge does not evaporated. In fact, it doesn't go anywhere until it is absorbed into my brand new pair of pants.

Wow, I don't think I've ever written the word umbrella so many times. I feel like a damn Rihanna song.
(Shit. Now it's in my head.)
Anyone wanna help me with the resurgence of the term bumbershoot?

And my final point of wisdom:
- Rain will do its damn best to keep you indoors, and most of the time, slippers and tea will win over moist socks and chilled hands. However, every once in a while, it can be the most delightful thing in the world to just accept you are getting soaked, and to go out and frolick. It is refreshing to jump in a rain puddle once in a while and return inside with dripping eyelashes.


eric1313 said...

I'll gladly help you revive the old 'bumbershoot'. This may call for an extraordinarily sill poem, or some [mostly] incorrect usage.

I laughed my bumbershoot off about about drowning patio umbrella users in crosswalk puddles.

And I am very familiar with the hidden swamp covered by dry leaves. When I was land surveying still, I thought I was walking over a giant leaf pile and stepped into somebody's back yard water feature pond. It was half a meter deep and I slipped on the plastic lining, landing squarly on my bumbershoot. I smelled like rotting leaf water the rest of the day.

Thank god for reefer on the drive home. :)

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...


I take a kind of perverse pleasure in cycling to work in ridiculously heavy rain. As I pass the roadways on the cycle paths and see the traffic backed up for miles I have a quiet chuckle to myself and pedal a bit harder - safe in the knowledge that I will be rolling into the underground car park barely minutes later.

As a friend once said; you don't get rusty people.

Hope said...

Ooo, isn't dripping eyelashes just so exhilarating? I am sucker for the rain--whether I am inside or outside--so I loved this post.

Especially, the part about umbrella etiquette. I hate it when you are sharing an umbrella with a shorter person than you (I'm pretty short, so) and your arms is just at a weird angle and the top of the umbrella is hitting your head. Good times! :)

captain corky said...

I got soaked on my way to the car tonight after work. There's a drought here so I wont complain at all about the rain this time.

Miriam said...

Now I just want to curl up in my bed with a good book...damn.

Beth said...

Rain was definitely far more delightful in childhood. You searched out the puddles back then.
Rain in the fall season is now treacherous - hit a patch of wet leaves and you're a goner.

The Lisa Show said...

I'm lucky I'm in love with rain. Otherwise I'd go nuts here. Seattle's got nothing on this place.

Ashley said...

I am very familiar with being out in the rain since I live in NYC. The best is when there is a lake at the bottom of the subway stairs and when it rains sideways so it doesn't matter if you have an umbrella, you are going to get soaking wet anyway. I ALWAYS leave my umbrella home and when i do remember one, i usually can only find my lawn chair sized umbrella (which is especially ridiculous because i'm 5'2 and very small.) Now watch it be raining when i go outside since i can't find my umbrella again.

LMizzle said...

a good puddle is a terrible thing to waste.

Princess Pointful said...

Eric- That is epic! My wet feet suddenly don't seem so bad after all.

Ultra Toast- I guess it's a matter of whether you value dryness or speed more. I am going to sulk that I don't even have a bike-- walking makes you wet and slow!

Hope- Sharing an umbrella is generally an exercise in futility, in my books. I guess that's where one of the massive patio umbrellas would come into play!

Corky- I'll be happy to take some complaining off your hands!

Miriam- Sounds like a plan to me. The storm was thankfully delayed, so that I missed it this morning... but now it's looking to strike whilst I am on my way home. I should have stayed in bed.

Beth- I know! Wet leaves are massive slippery!

the Lisa Show- You are a better woman that I. This is about as much as I can handle... and it still makes me grumpy!

Ashley- Fingers crossed that this post wasn't bad luck in that regards! I always lose my damn umbrella!

Lmizzle- Indeed. I seem to remember you being a bigger fan of rain that me in general, though.

Ant said...

Ah good, so my Scottish Rain-God powers are kicking in once again (it is mighty windy down here...)

Your lesson in umbrella etiquette is most welcome - I've only just started using them (despite living in Britain's equivalent of your RainTown for many years). A lot of things to learn, and a lot of eyes to gouge out...

Most amusing so far however, is definitely when I have to put the cover back on. It looks incredibly suggestive and my inexpert fumbling belies the manly image I wish to convey...

libby said...

oohh i used to love to just stand on my balcony at school when it was storming and just watch it pour and just be ONE with nature. yeah sometimes i'm lame.

also, i had my g test today (PASSED) and it was storming! I was freakin' out before hand because of the extra challenges it brings - but thankfully it all worked out!

Yoda said...

Where I went to college? It used to rain 9 months a year! I swear!

As a college student, I lost soo many umbrellas that by the 3rd year, I was tired of buying new umbrellas.

Then I made friends with the rain.

Unless its freezing rain :-(

Airam said...

My brother got married in the city of rain. Luckily it stopped raining on the day he got married but started back up the day after.

Lord Chimmy said...

One day it started raining, and it didn't quit for four months. We been through every kind of rain there is. Little bitty stingin' rain... and big ol' fat rain. Rain that flew in sideways. And sometimes rain even seemed to come straight up from underneath. --Forrest Gump.

I really want one of those yellow rain slickers like they were on fishing ships. I hate carrying an umbrella.

Indiana James said...

Sorry to have taken the brief bit of good weather with me when I left your coast. I got lucky with the weather on the trip so I hope I can send some of it back to you and that you don't find the unpleasant surprise of many more leaf puddles. I hate those.

LeeEeeMuR said...

I have never liked rain... I would rather snow over it anyday.... (dont get wet as much in the snow) but I do recall times spent splashing and even diving into puddles when younger... but my horror story for rain:

years ago I walk home from school well pretty much walked everywhere... but one occasion it was pouring buckets... less than 5 minutes into my walk and I was already soaked so I just keep walking... along the road there are a few of those massive lakes by the clogged sewer drains and most cars are doing their best to either slow down or swerve around for us unfortunate walkers..... until of course I get near the middle of it...... the carload of idiots laugh and point as the driver honks his horn causing me to turn around ... the idiot driver is headed towards me and as he turns at the last second.... his little car creates a wave over my head of water..... luckily for me I was already soaked... but I wasn't to impressed with having to pick the leaves off of myself

something that really bothers me during rain..... those silly people that hold a newspaper (bag/beifcase/whatever) over their head in an "attempt" to sheild themselves from the rain..... who are they kidding????

distracted spunk said...

When I was younger and in sleepaway camp, we would take showers in the rain with our bathing suits and shampoo. I don't know what our parents would have said but it was always a fun time to see each other with rivulets of suds running down our faces as the water poured down.

And of course, there's always dancing in the rain.