Lemon County: Armageddon Wet...
Rain Is Hell...
If you watch the news here in Lemon County, we are in the middle of Armageddon. The Los Angeles TV stations have sent out their “B” team reporters, who are mispronouncing all the local street names. (It’s like almost fifty miles away, dude.)
Like a bunch of excited schoolboys (and girls), they wear their special clothing and enthuse about the disasters that have happened (with video taken at night - you can image how great that is…), and the greater disasters that are about to happen. Emergency shelters are open, including places to take your animals, road closures and really helpful messages scroll underneath the messengers.
Trust me, it’s hell out here on the west coast.
Well it’s raining.
Rather a lot, actually. Not Seattle ‘a lot,’ but major amounts for poor old Lemon County. Oh, and its pretty windy and there are only two shopping days to Christmas.
One of the reporters, braving the “outside” in the local mountains, helped us all, by reporting that there was this stuff, like somewhere between snow and rain falling. I nearly hurt myself shouting, “It’s called sleet you moron!” at the TV. He didn’t hear me as he continued sharing his ignorance, and getting really wet.
The news stations don’t know what to do first. Film the crazies in the mall parking lot, doing what passes for parking out here? Go inside and film the panic on the shoppers faces as they rush to buy everything in the stores, so they can bring it all back in a couple of days? Film the water rushing down the gutters? Film hillsides that may, or may not, slide down? Film the emergency crews rescuing idiots who went to look at the water rushing in the river? Film the cars stuck in giant puddles because, of course, their car can drive through two feet of water?
The teams are spread pretty thin. What piece of utter lunacy should they focus on? The anchors in the studio are breaking into a sweat as they juggle all these live feeds…
Oh, the humanity…
Just to prove how puerile the whole thing can be, the reporters (standing in the rain, or how else would we know how serious this weather thing is) ask passers by what they think. Oh, great, now we get to hear from the people who went out in this, with the single goal of getting on TV.
“Well, me and my friends thought we’d like go to the mall and it was like totally, you know, and then this rain and all, so’s it’s pretty rough out here, yeah…”
I lost 5,000 brain cells just listening to that.
Oh, and the Lemon County solution to dangerous driving conditions? Drive home as fast as you can! (Aquaplane – is that a toy for fish?) So, the freeways are littered with cars that fell off the freeway, sideswiping a couple of other cars on their way. The people get out and look in amazement at their crumpled cars, waiting for the police to arrive and tell them what spectacular morons they are.
In a previous life, I was a police officer and had to deal with rain on a pretty regular basis (surprise, it rains in England!), but had nowhere near the number of accidents due to rain, as the officers in the LC do. I can imagine the conversations and wonder how they keep their composure…
“What happened here madam?”
“Well I was on my way to the mall, to, you know, get some last minute things, when all of the sudden, my car she just, you know, she went sideways. I was like rilly, rilly scared, and then these other cars just got in my way…”
“What speed were you going?”
“Oh, you know, the usual. I’m pretty sure it was under eighty though.”
“Did you notice the heavy rain?”
“Yeah, for sure, I saw it on the news and everything…”
“No, when you were driving…”
“I was telling my sister, it was like crazy wet and everything…”
“Was she in the car ma’am?”
“Don’t be silly, she lives in Van Nuys. I was tellin’ her on my cell…”
“Ma’am I’m going to have to cite you for reckless driving…”
“Bummer, will that take long, ‘cause I need to get to Macy’s for the door-buster thing. Do you think you could, maybe, give me a lift?”
The parking lots are not much better than the freeways. All the spaces are full one hour before the mall opens, so you get to prowl around for the elusive space. You can park in a row, gunning your engine like a bull with a bad temper, claiming your row, and wait. Or there is an alternative strategy, simply follow people walking out of the mall, the, so-called, stalker technique. The issues arise when the stalker meets the waiting bull.
The mall-leaver always takes an age, loading up the vehicle, strapping the children in, and then seemingly doing a full set of pre-flight checks, before gingerly poking his rear end into the row. The stalker and the bull move as close as they can to the soon to be vacated space, both having played a dangerous game of “called it” with their indicators (The only time these are used, by the way), flicking them on the second they knew which side the mall-leaver was going.
The mall-leaver, excited by having finished all his, or her, shopping, temporarily forgets how to drive and attempts a three point turn in the parking space, eventually nudging out into the row. Turning right he lets the bull in, turning left, the stalker. Which way to go…the loser will let fly with a rigid digit (or two), the winner will not acknowledge you. I guess the person with the least threatening car wins.
Oh, and that’s in the dry. Add in the torrential rain, lousy visibility, severely eroded patience, and the impending race down the rain-slicked highway, and you get a glimpse of the seven layers of hell we are living in.
Care packages are welcome…
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