Wednesday, March 15, 2006

My Dog Don't Know From Tornado Warnings

And then he looked at the dog
--Arlo Guthrie, "Alice's Restaurant"

Let it be known that even if I get not another pick right on my school NCAA pool, I did correctly pick the winner of the play-in game, last night. Go, Monmouth! Poor Hampton, they just looked plum tuckered out after running through the MEAC Tournament, winning four games in as many days. That's alot of basketball in a week (last night's game was their fifth in seven days)! A win for them would have been simply amazing.

Long day at work today. A morning faculty meeting at 6:45 and then working on the Review until 5:10 this afternoon. Phew! I am ready for the weekend. Really, I am ready for spring break, but that is not for another week. I just need to hang on. I also need the kiddos to hang on with me. They can get awful squirelly sometimes, especially when a break is imminent.

Of course, you all know by now that Monkey and I survived the tornado/hail extravaganza here in Central Standard. But the episode this weekend put me in mind of a previous story I told some friends. The following is a reprint of an email sent to friends and family on March 1, 2000.

Greetings All!

I've had a whale of a time out here on the left bank. My latest adventure leads me to believe it's going to be mildly exciting out here this spring. The weather has been quite warm, and last Thursday they were predicting thunderstorms. The day started out sunny, but the clouds rolled in thick and fast. After breakfast, I took the dog out back. I looked up at the sky, and it was about as dark as I had ever seen a sky. I decided to bring the dog in quick, but he didn't want to come in, so I had to chase him. Unfortunately, I don't have the 4.5-second-40-yard-dash speed I used to have. Nowadays it's more like, "Forty yards? I'm calling a cab!" Needless to say, I couldn't actually catch the dog, and my few attempts to corner him left me sprawled upon the grass in not-very-comfortable configurations. And then it started to rain.

There must be something in the air on the East Coast that actually causes the rain to break up into drops when it falls. We don't seem to have that here. I've gotten less wet in the shower than I did after two minutes chasing my hound through the torrents of a Missouri downpour. Luckily, my neighbor came out to see why I was sliding around in the mud in the middle of a rain storm, and that was just the distraction I needed to collar the dog.

We stayed inside most of the day, listening to the thunder and watching golf. After lunch, the Emergency Air Raid siren went off. I checked my watch. It wasn't noon, and it wasn't Wednesday. I figured the Canadians had finally launched the surprise attack they've been planning since 1812. I expected the Army recruiter to be banging on my door any second, spouting some patriotic slogans, like, "Let's show those Canucks what a dollar is supposed to buy! or, "Remember the English Measurement System!" or some other blood-stirring, flag-waving jingoism that was supposed to fill the impressionable high school student with the desire to shoot marauding Canadians.

Just as I was whipping myself into an anti-Canadian fervor, the soothing voice of the golf announcer was replaced by a too enthusiastic meteorologist telling me to kiss my ass goodbye because there was a tornado heading my way! I acted fast, grabbing my transistor radio, a bag of Cheetohs, and a change of underwear, and headed for the crawlspace. That's when I realized there was no way in hell that the dog was ever going to try to climb down the ladder to safety.

I tried reasoning with him. I tried bribing him with Cheetohs. I tried wrapping my underwear around his head and dragging him in. No dice. As I stood on the bottom rung of the ladder, just my shoulders and head poking up out of the hole in the floor, looking commandingly into the sad brown eyes of the dog, I heard the splash of water running in the crawlspace. I stuck my head down into the space and saw water gushing through the vents into the crawlspace from the backyard. This is great, I thought, I get to choose between getting blown to Oz or drowning in my own crawlspace. Luckily, they lifted the tornado warning just as the water was lapping at the eyelets of my boots.

Once out of the hole, I went to look out the window. I was amazed to find that now I was the proud tenant of waterfront property! The backyard was full of murky runoff which was now about six inches deep. I immediately rushed out to the backyard to furiously sweep the water out of the yard and around the side of the house. In the rain. Again. I think my feet are still wrinkled.

Well, I saved the house. The water stopped running into the backyard about two days later, and everything has been fine since. The landlord came by two days ago and dug a trench along the side of the house, but I don't know what good that's really going to do. And I still haven't figured out how to get the dog down the ladder.

And tornado season hasn't even officially begun.

From somewhere over the rainbow....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

To think, I didn't even know you then! Back then, you were funny! ;)

So when did the bathtub become the central scene for such encounters?