I find myself looking around for an old bearded
man who's hitting the lumberyards for gopher
wood and goes by the name Noah.
Come on, there's got to be an end to this rain.
This has been the worst year I can remember in
a long time in terms of the constant precipitation.
While not always a deluge, the ever-present threat
of rain puts a damper - pardon the pun - on most
I mean, I looked outside one evening about 6:30
and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. "Fishing!"
I quite naturally think, so I grab my tackle bag
and a couple rod tubes and leap into the truck,
break the speed limit getting to a fishing pond.
I set up my fly rod on the bed of the truck, march
over to the water's edge, and made exactly three
Then the sky darkens like something from The Omen
and there's a tremendous CRASH! BOOM! Along with
that, the SPRIZLLLE-ZIPP! of lightning not far away.
I was about to make another cast when demons started
falling out of the clouds, frogs were jumping to their
deaths on the highway, cats were keeling over all
around me, so I high-tailed it back to the truck
just in time to avoid getting drenched. I couple
of demons landed in the back of the truck, but
the frogs got them under control.
This has got to stop, but who am I to tell The Man
Upstairs how to run his creation? I feel inclined
to remind him that his son was a fisherman, and
the favored disciple, John, was among the first
celebrity fishermen. The Man Upstairs should, I
would hope, have some mercy for us poor anglers
sitting drearily by the windows watching the rain.
One afternoon, when there was supposed to be a 20
percent chance of rain, the bottom fell out and
the rain was so thick I couldn't see four feet
beyond the front door. That morning, I had gone
for a ride in my mahogany runabout, and had left
it on the hitch of the truck while I went inside
for lunch. I ended up napping, and when the thunder
started, I actually thought, "Oh, good, I love
napping with the rain pittering and pattering
on the roof."
It was then I suddenly thought, "THE BOAT!" Leaping
from the sofa, I don't think I placed but one foot
on the floor between there and the door, raced to
the truck and backed the boat under the garage
without a second to spare before the deluge came.
The number one commandment of wooden boat ownership,
Thou Shalt Keep It Dry, had nearly been
broken, and the specific portion of hell dedicated
to defilers of that commandment involves being
strapped to the deck of a fiberglass ski boat
which is captained by Gilligan.
I looked at the radar, and there was only a
thread-thin band of rain moving southwest to
northeast, right over the Rez. I mean, it was
so thin you could barely see it, but it was
raining like hallelujah, brethren outside.
There, you see, was the 20 percent of rain
we were given, and we got each and every
percentile point at my house.
Groaning, "I should have built an ark instead
of a mahogany runabout," I settled back for a
nap, but the thunder and crashing lightning
kept me awake.
In much the same way Noah was ridiculed for his
pessimism, I am chastised for my optimism. Noah
caught some serious flack for warning everybody
that it was about to rain for 40 days and 40
nights. I catch serious resentment when I say,
"It's not going to rain today," which is merely
a fisherman's wishful thinking. Noah and I, you
see, are peas at opposite ends of the same pod.
My only failing is that I have no idea how long
a cubit is, and my Stanley tape measure does not
indicate one. Besides, gopher wood does not grow
Between rainstorms, whenever some slight reprieve
allows, I go out and check on the boats, which are
under covers. I pat them on their decks and say,
"Don't worry, baby, we'll get to go out one day,"
but I don't think they believe me. They sit there
looking despondent, the tires going flat from daily
disappointment, their chrome dull with depression
and their sheerlines sagging with crestfallen rotten
So I go to work, then I go home and suffer from
cabin fever because the rain is keeping me prisoner.
It's worse than winter. Listen, I don't want to go
into drought mode, but I strongly suspect that if
we get much more of this, Louisiana will simply
slide off into the Gulf of Mexico, a soggy, sodden
mush like undercooked pudding, New Orleans riding
the forefront beneath the waves like a wooden
carving on a Viking vessel. Baton Rouge will follow,
still spewing smokestacks of pollution in the air,
and Monroe will pull up the rear.
Thank goodness it isn't grinding season.
The other bad thing is, the rain makes the grass
grow at a radioactive rate. Meaning, like in those
'50s horror movies where ants ingest nuclear waste
and grow to 10 feet tall, my grass is a mutant
creature, thriving in the rain and growing inches
per day. I tried to cut it during one brief spell
of sunshine, but I was slinging water more than
grass from the cutting deck. I looked like I was
riding a hovercraft instead of a lawn mower. That
can't be good for the mechanicals. My yard is in
danger of being declared a wetland by the feds.
Okay by me, long as I can fish in it. I could cast
from the porch, safe from the rain.
There is this fear that I will wake up one morning
and the house has floated away during the night, me
along with it. I'll wake up and look out the window
and we'll be in Jamaica. Rotten luck again, I wanted
to go to Cuba, for the cigars if nothing else. I'm
not a big fan of rum.
If anybody has a red phone to The Man Upstairs,
send a plea for us. Our cup runneth over, so to
speak. I dreamed I took Patches, my tortoise shell
calico kitty, and threw her out of a window,
thinking it might be a port hole like on Noah's
ark, but instead of coming back with an olive branch,
she came back with a water lily. There's a prophecy
of doom if I ever saw one. ~ Roger