THE boys from Crowded House used to sing everywhere you go, always take the weather with you. But with downpours we’ve been experiencing lately, I’m not sure whether that’s such a good idea.
Talk about climate change
It was morning. I was sitting at home, like many Novocastrians no doubt, getting ready to drive to hell, I mean work.
My true love had just declined a ride to her place of employment, preferring to walk instead.
About five minutes after she set off it started to dump rain like the heavens had dined on contaminated Spanish mackerel.
So much for the drought.
The Bureau of Meteorology would later confirm it at Pasha Bulker velocity.
I wasn’t experiencing true climate change at that stage because it was happening out ‘‘there’’ and I was sitting in ‘‘here’’. ‘‘Here’’ being the ironically dubbed “sunroom”.
At that moment the neighbour pulled up outside and dropped her kids off for the daily run to school. Didn’t they get wet sprinting to our doorstep. I should have been dripping with anticipation too because that’s when the phone call came.
She who had turned down the offer of a ride to work was now phoning in to say that, surprise, surprise, she’d got soaked.
Could I please on my way to work drop off a pair of pants, socks, shoes and a snorkel.
That would have been a reasonable request if in fact her work was on the way to my work.
But her work is actually on the way to a giant traffic snarl that I go out of my way to avoid every day of my commuting life.
Particularly at 8.30am during an end-of-days rain phenomenon.
A snarl that I would have to double back through after the drop, to get to my work.
And it would all be done in an old bomb of a vehicle without air-con. That’s where the ‘‘dripping with anticipation’’ came into it. Sweat, more like it.
I could have said ‘‘No’’ at that stage, but ‘‘Noah’’ better summed up the situation.
I could have said “Ark” too but instead muttered something that rhymed as I realised I’d left the bomb parked outside overnight and would have to run to it first to get going.
So much for being dry. The spark plugs, I mean, which would come into play shortly.
And don’t you feel the pressure trying to unlock a door when you’re doing the Matrix in a maelstrom.
It’s even more fun if you have to do it with your back against that freaking bush you’d promised you’d prune all those months ago.
It wasn’t long before formerly dry me had a river running down the back of my shirt that against all odds took my mind off the drenching I copped down the front when I ran straight out of the garage through the overflowing gutters.
It was action stations on the good ship Poseidon. Dive, dive, dive! I mean, drive!
And so we sputtered up the road to join the snarl – one of only six spark plugs up for the struggle it seemed.
But the real joy was the air-con. Or fog machine as it becomes under these circumstances, blowing at warp speed on ‘‘sauna’’ setting.
You reckon Gravity was claustrophobic.
Try jamming three damp mammals in an old 60 series cruiser like this.
Three wet bodies became the living embodiment of ‘‘play misty for me’’.
Or was that ‘‘musty’’?
It wasn’t long before someone had to also ‘‘play lookout for me’’ because it was getting kind of life and death on the ‘‘is there a car coming’’ front.
You can try winding down the windows, but that only enables real rain to mix with the perspiration and knowledge that there are cars coming.
Once up the hill we drove straight past she who decided to meet us at the front of her work, instead of where we arranged.
We only found out about that when the mobile rang and she inquired why we’d driven past her.
Remember, she was pretty wet to start with and had thought she’d been doing us a favour, so the inquiry was reasonably strident.
Past her? We could have driven over her, I replied, so low was the visibility.
And so she and I had one of those loving conversations that remind you of great movies like War of the Roses, Clash of the Titans, Kramer v Kramer.
A breakdown was seriously on the cards, and I suspect the neighbour’s kids were thinking it wouldn’t just be mechanical.
And then we’re back into the traffic snarl. The only positive I’m focusing on at that stage is we haven’t hit anything ... yet.
Except minor flooding, which in the spirit of Pasha, I’m starting to suspect may turn into major flooding just around the next storm drain.
It seems to take us 30 minutes to negotiate one particular intersection.
Because it does. Is there some sadist at traffic light HQ messing with our mind?
At least with the heater on full bore adding an acoustic roar to the laundromat vibe coming off the dash, my curses are muffled. Pity the muffler wasn’t.
Eventually the kids are dropped off, but it hasn’t been the smoothest run.
The climate had changed rather abruptly that morning and it had been hard to weather. Certainly wouldn’t want to take it with me again.