Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Great Flood of 2009 Wasn’t That Great, Actually

For those of you that don’t live in Dallas, we had some storms come through yesterday/last night/today. And with them came what meteorologists call “literal assloads of rain” that poured down for hours and hours. For those of you that live in Dallas, you already knew this. And you can even comment about it once your power comes on. Mine is still off. My mom’s is still off in Richardson. My grandmother’s is off in Garland.

This is inconvenient when, say, you need to wake up in the morning for work and you rely on an alarm clock-type device to wake you up. Usually I have a backup in the form of trusty Mr. Blackberry. But Mr. Blackberry’s battery died sometime in the night. If you’re wondering, yes I do need two alarms going off to get me out of bed. And I set them for an hour before I actually need to be up because I hit snooze for an hour. When people go, “I’m not a morning person” I sometimes contemplate explaining to them the bartering with God and Satan and Buddha that I try to do each morning if they will just allow me to sleep for another hour. But instead I usually say, “Yeah, me neither” and shrug. I hate mornings. I want to dump mornings body in a wooded area where no one will find it. I want to give mornings a tainted Tylenol when it has a headache. I am not a morning person.

Add to that the fact that violent thunderstorms are like Ambien to me. Minus the somnambulism and sleep eating and sleep driving and stuff. So this morning, at the hour when I would normally be cursing the heavens for making me wake up and get out of bed at the ungodly hour of 7am, I was instead enjoying the nicest little bit of sleep I have had in months. Thunder was shaking the pictures on my bedroom walls and lighting actually hit the tree outside my bedroom window. All of which made me pull the covers up and smile and turn over and nestle deeper.

Then I figured out that I hadn’t finally tricked the universe into letting me sleep as late as I wanted to with no repercussions. Power out. Oh shit. Still managed to take a shower but then realized that all my clothes are dark and, ironically, so was my bedroom. The only candles I have are those Mexican/Catholic prayer candles which give off a nominal amount of actual light. So I dressed by candlelight this morning. Which explains why I am wearing a blue sweater, black pants (with something that looks like pink icing on the knee?) and yellow argyle socks (cleverly disguised by my knee high boots). I’m lookin’ gooooood.

Then I try to pull out of my driveway only to find that there is a car that does not belong to anyone who lives in my house parked in our driveway and blocking me in. Then I notice that a car that does not belong to our neighbors is parked in their driveway, blocking them in. Neat! I get to off-road through the yard to get around Captain Asshole in the Lincoln Towncar. I get onto Peak to drive to work from the East Dallas/Junius Heights area to Turtle Creek which normally takes about 10 minutes. 15 minutes at absolute maximum. But it’s pouring buckets so I figure this drive might take me 20 minutes. Somewhere just after I cross Ross Ave, I am stopped by yellow Do Not Cross police tape. Not that unusual a sight in the Ross Ave. area. But just beyond the tape, I see a minivan turned the wrong direction (Peak is one way) and submerged up to mid door in water. Ah, so you’re saying I should not go that way? Right.

Me and the six or seven cars behind me started doing a very awkward pas-de-deux (pas-de-sept?) of fifteen point turns to try to find side streets to escape onto. A couple of us choose some random neighborhood street. Bad call on our part. It eventually leads us to Washington. At the corner of Whatever and Washington, I see a shopping cart swim by my car. Normally, I am not one of those people who gets tweaked about a shopping basket hitting my car in a parking lot. For some reason, this morning I was swearing and threatening a painful and slow death to this shopping cart if it hit me. I may have even told the inanimate shopping cart that hitting my car would be the last thing it would ever do. Luckily, it took a last-minute stroke slightly northward and missed my front bumper by inches. It was at this point that I noticed that when I got into my car this morning, I had enough gas to get me to work under normal, non-Biblical End Times conditions. But with all this reversing and cart dodging and East Dallas sightseeing I had been doing, I was about to run out of gas.

Cut to the scene of me pumping $4 worth of gas as lighting struck all around me and a furious little debris stream cascaded between me and my car. Alright, surely this was enough punishment for sleeping in today, right? Get back onto the road and resume my slow crawl to the office. Because no one can see if they are even in a lane because of the downpour, the roads looked more like one of those baby races where they line up five babies in five lanes and then let them go but they end up crossing over into other lanes or just stopping in their own lane or eating grass or crawling on top of the stationary babies. That’s what Lemmon Ave. looked like at approximately 11am today. An extremely slow ADD-riddled infant race.

At this point, it had been 30 minutes since I first got in the car. I was on the last leg, the usually simple left turn onto Turtle Creek. Except Turtle Creek the road and Turtle Creek the creek had become indistinguishable. The two had become one and intertwined in a violent embrace. It was then that Turtle Creek decided to try to get my engine in on the party. My engine had been doing well up to that point. I kept promising it that oil change I have been meaning to get it if it could just put on some water wings and get me to work.

But then the asshole that is Turtle Creek got all up in it and….stall. As I sat in my car, pondering whether or not I was about to be donate my car to the Turtle Creek CAN academy, I hit the gas one more time. And somehow, my little Honda Accord That Could found enough strength to slowly pull us out of our future of spending the rest of the day filing an insurance claim and towards relatively drier ground. We were in the shit and that little Honda came through for me. Thanks buddy! Guess who’s getting some 40W for the summer?

After a few blocks of sputtering and coughing, the Accord finally shook off the shackles and righted itself completely. And then I got to work. Only to find out that everyone else was late and no one even noticed I was. So 48 minutes after I left my house, here I was. Sitting at my desk. Then I realized I was hungry and went to lunch.

The End.

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