July 01, 2005

When I left work yesterday, there were obvious storm clouds to the west and south. This isn't too unusual for 6:00 in the summertime. But I had no sides or top on the Jeep, other than a small rectangle over the driver and passenger seats to keep the sun off me during the day, so I knew I had to hurry home.

It's only a five mile drive home, but at mile one, it was dark enough to turn on headlights. At mile two, it started to rain. Thirty seconds later, I was in a downpour.


Unless you're reading this from Louisiana, Florida, or the Amazon rain forest, my definition is probably different than your definition of "downpour." In the Louisiana summertime, this means that the water is coming down faster than the street drains can suck it away. It means that you can stand on one side of a football field and not be able to see the other. It means that you can get drenched faster than any method that doesn't involve diving.

We don't really talk about our downpours too much locally, because they happen just about every day in the summertime. But they are very isolated. One spot might get drenched while a lot one mile away stays bone dry.

So the water started blowing in. First, it was a small cold stream on my thigh, but in short order, I was damp from head to foot.

And then something odd happened: I started to laugh.

Instead of being annoying, it was unbelievably fun. The rain felt cold and fresh and clean. I turned up the radio, and pushed the gas harder. I sprayed water from my tires up into the air, adding to the monsoon. By this time, I was laughing like a stoner in front of an Animal House rerun.

At home, I figured that I would put the cover on, to minimize the soaking seats. In the few minutes that I was completely outside, I was drenched. I walked up to the front door, wet pants stuck to my legs. I splashed barefoot through the puddles. The rain was cold in the air, but warm in the puddles over previously sizzling concrete.

The puddle on my Jeep Floor this morning.

As I stripped naked inside the front door, I dripped water all over the floor. This is the sort of thing that make Mrs. theskinnyonbenny inordinately grouchy.

This morning, the seats were damp, and there were puddles on the floor. (Note to Chrysler Corp: The drain plugs in the floor of the Jeep are good, but sort of pointless when the carpet is impermeable to water.)

By lunch time, the carpet was damp and the seats were dry. Everything was back to normal.

Until this afternoon's downpour.