Lileks: Surviving summer, rain and mobile emergency notices

  • Article by: JAMES LILEKS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 21, 2014 - 7:18 PM

Summer started yesterday, but no one believes that. It started June 1st. Saying “technically, September is still summer” is like saying “technically, Lucky Charms is wheat.”

We were informed that Thursday was the sixth wettest day since 1938. Not sure what do with this info. Not quite sure how to work it into conversation on the elevator.

“So. Damp enough for you, eh?”

“Well, if I was an old man who remembered the Depression with a keen sense of longing for bygone youth, I’d note that there were five days between ’38 and today that were wetter, but since I lack any historical context, I can’t really satisfy your empty chatter with a definitive response.” (Silence for 14 floors.)

Elsewhere it was reported that this was the wettest start to a year since 1871, which, of course, was noted for the exacting precision of its record-keeping.

“Silas, how much has it rained today?”

“Well, Hiram, I put a stick in the trough and it’s up over the notch I made last year.”

If ever you read that this was the hottest summer since 1876, keep in mind that this may be based on the number of sheep that caught on fire.

But wet it is. The creek nearby has inundated the park. I stepped on the grass 20 yards from the water, and the ground squished. A young couple walked through the water with their pants rolled up. Ducks paddled nearby. If you remember the years when the creek was a miserly trickle and Minnehaha Falls went dry and you couldn’t help thinking drat, we broke the planet, then this is nice. Rain is life. Who could argue?

Me, when my cellphone sends the terrifying WAKE UP DEATH IS IMMINENT emergency squawky-screech at 5 a.m. to warn me about flash floods. It was probably different in 1938. They sent telegrams. You had to tip the delivery boy.

 

jlileks@startribune.com • 612-673-7858

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