• The Nearly Man

Nice Weather For Ducks

22/09/03 15:04.

It’s a rare occasion! Today I’ve got the day off work. No nagging costumers, no homogenised pop music reverberating down my ears and no peculiar smells lingering around my armpits… “Aaah fresh and easy! Underpants are a GO!!”.

There has been a bizarre mix of weather today, the morning was grey, misty, and well, quite mild considering the time of year. Then in mid morning, the skies closed, darkening as one colossal cloud after another coalesced into what could only be described as a… “Holy Shit!! Judgement day has arrived. Where is the baby Jesus when you need him? I need to repent and repent quickly?” or “Oh shit! That’s ruined my plans for lounging in the communal garden in my bright pink speedos this afternoon!”. I feared for my existence, expecting a giant lottery “IT’S YOU” styled thunder hand to come thwarting down upon my fragile body, crushing me where I stood. Though my main priority, aside this irrational fear of the heavens above, was to get the precious vinyl I’d just purchased home to safety. Thinking “I must protect my babies at all costs!!” Occasionally the sky’s hue would change, as the sun’s amber light peeked around the odd slow floating cumulus sauntering on the outer edges of the amassing entity growing in the sky. And for a brief second I imagined, a gust of wind had expatriated the monster, only to find as I peered over my shoulder, it was still there shadowing my every footstep. The omnipotent giants continued their ballet of obscurity for some time, threatening the earth with their rain-laden weight, almost as if they were purposely selecting the right moment in which to release their burden. I was in mere sight of home, when a crisp packet hurtled passed me, cartwheeling… up the fucking hill!! An evident sign the winds were picking up and it was time to speed my pace somewhat. Either that or it was one remarkable acrobatic crisp packet, escaping consumption from an obese child’s hand... “You can’t catch me!” I heard it whisper in my mind. I don’t know, these days off will play havoc with one’s mind. As I neared the front porch, the air quickened to a stop, still and tranquil, a sudden inward breath, as the first drops of rain floated downward sparkling in the horizon, like Scottish midges on a summers evening… pretty, but a sign of terrible things to come. Shelter should be sought immediately, if one does not wish to succumb to an evening of misery.

Without warning (obviously for dramatic effect here, the gigantic clouds amassing in the sky for nearly 45 minutes was a bit of a give-away), the heavens opened, thrashing wind, rain, hail, trees, and anything not nailed down, upon mother earth. In a cacophony of erratic sound and sight it liberated the parched earth and filtered the air of toxins. Gathering momentum, it generated deep, unrelenting and maddening pitter-patters, pierced with shrill screeches, as the wind passed through the branches of trees, through the gaps between the building and into my ears. No umbrella, hat, bird or Gran’s Yorkshire Terrier would be spared… If you were in its way… it was going to remove you instantly from its path. I saw a wheelie bin making a run for it down the hill, another almost made it, but tragically fell like some war hero in the trenches. Its lid flapping in the wind, as though mortally wounded and crying for help. Several unaccompanied brollies whooshed passed, skipping their way upward, being swallowed by the darkening sky above. And for several hours, this was it, the storm raged, furiously beating the outside world into submission, mother earth sustained heavy blow after heavy blow, as though being put back into place by some oppressive overlord. "You will do as you are told!" Then as quick as that, it stopped, suddenly, no come down, no slow down or hint of reprieve, just like that. Gone! The sky, finally relieved of its encumbrance, lulled itself to a wisp and with that, blew one last kiss goodbye and fucked off like a one night stand.

It was a reasonable storm, not a good one, but an entertaining one to watch from the safety of my kitchen window. Though, truth be told, “Mother Nature you let me down a little. I half expected more from you. The build up, the promise, the expectation. I would have liked to have seen some random flashes of lightening, heard sporadic, violent sounds of thunder thumping across the sky, felt the impact of hurricane winds as cows from the local field fell onto the neighbours cars. Perhaps even a little tornado wouldn’t be out of the question? Not even the amusing plight of a poor granny being swept off her feet by a cascading torrent of water happened upon mine eyes. "Come on!! it’s my day off, I demand to be entertained!! What did you give me? The promise of gold. Only to be given a cheap foil wrapped chocolate. "I mean, I'm grateful for the chocolatey surprise, don't get me wrong. However bitterly disappointed it’s still not gold. I give you 6 out of 10 for your efforts. Try harder next time please!"