"I'm Wet--I'm Hysterical and I'm Wet!"
So we're driving back into town after a week's vacation, and it's been a harrowing eight hours on the road, all but 25 minutes of it in wild, pounding rain, a 400-mile-long stationary front of grey, wet, foggy murk, and we're within 10 minutes of home, sliding down River Road from the Beltway toward the District, when suddenly lights and sirens appear immediately behind us.
It's a boat.
I've been driving down I-81 since the upper reaches of New York state and now I'm in Montgomery County and I am being pulled over and passed by a boat on River Road.
So you'll pardon me if I check to see if that's Noah behind the wheel.
Yes, it was a police boat, and yes, it turned out that there was a police vehicle towing the boat toward some mishap closer to the Potomac (he turned west on Wilson Boulevard, down toward the river), but it did seem last night like the river, with a nice assist from the skies, had taken over nearly everything.
Of course we came home to water in the basement. Of course the power flickered. Of course we saw cars almost entirely submerged in water along the stretch where River and Westbard Avenue come toward each other.
That last sight came just minutes after we had a discussion in the car about what exactly a flash flood was and why all these dire warnings were being issued on the radio about flash flooding when Washington isn't near an ocean and we'd never seen a sudden flood in our lives. But then we saw those floating cars and thought, a-ha!, maybe there is some justification to the Bob Ryan/Doug Hill hysteria on such matters. (Ten points and a chance to go to the finals for the first person who cites the source of the quotation in today's headline--as always, Googlin' ain't sportin'.)
We know from being stymied by frozen precipitation--or the mere thought of such--in this region. But plain old rain? This morning, just about everything seems to be shut down or wobbly--Metro, the Beltway, VRE, buses. The government is telling people they can use their vacation time (gee, thanks). Shockingly, the Montgomery County schools are not closing because of the rain--oh, wait, they're closed for the summer.
Anyway, if you haven't been down to your basement, let me be the first to tell you--It's wet.
And so off to work with you. I've got a few thousand emails to comb through--I continue to refuse to do things electronic while on vacation. Call me Luddite (you know you have, you know you will) but there it is, my little stand for civilized values or some such. It's good to be back in the saddle and I appreciate Ann Gerhart's splendid posts during my absence--I do wish she'd received a bit friendlier welcome here, but let's not punish the whole class for the misdeeds of a few (I always found that to be the worst possible approach to discipline by small-minded, mean-spirited teachers.) I especially liked Ann's post about Facebook--guess what I did after my eight-hour drive back from dropping The Older Child at a camp in the wilds of New York? Yep, I read the various Facebook and xanga pages of her counselors. New ways for parents to obsess over the safety and well-being of their offspring. And I'm happy to say that the pages I checked were pretty cool and revealed no gutwrenching weirdnesses.
Let that be the motto for today: A day without gutwrenching weirdnesses is like a day without Biblical flooding. Meanwhile, I've got to go look for more towels for the basement floor.
By Marc Fisher |
June 26, 2006; 7:47 AM ET
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