The forecast last Thursday was for showers.
Showers my arse! That was not "showers". Showers don’t fall at a 45Ã¯Â¿Â½ angle, drenching everything in their path. That was torrential rain. The kind of rain that people’s pets get washed away in. I know: I was out there in it.
I didn’t have the car on Thursday afternoon, but I did have my umbrella. I thought it should provide some protection against what was a reasonable amount of rain falling when I left work. I stumbled up Bay Street to the station, trying in vain not to step in too many puddles, and got onto the platform without having gotten excessively wet.
The train arrived and I gratefully took a seat, relieved that no moron had left any windows open. I went the two stops to Elsternwick then got off and sprinted up the ramp, silently praising myself for always taking an umbrella to work. Even a small, rather pathetic broken umbrella like this one. Better that than drowning in this downpour.
The rain was getting worse. I came out of the station and looked across the road at the tram stop. Rain rain and more rain, floating down from the heavens, and drenching anybody who happened to get in the way. People waiting for the tram were huddling under the fortunately larger than average shelter, attempting not entirely successfully to get too soggy.
Looking down the street I could see the tram was just coming, so I crossed the road and joined the masses clambering aboard.
We rolled along through the squalling wind and the rain. We got to my stop. When the doors opened, me and another bloke getting off went down the steps and found ourselves facing whatever the rain equivalent of a blizzard is. I fumbled for my umbrella and managed to get it open, though it did me little good.
This was the 45Ã¯Â¿Â½ rain – not so much a downpour as a sidewayspour. Millions of drops of water descended, lit up in the street lights. I made it to the footpath and then across the street and took cover under a shop awning. I looked around and surveyed the scene. The rain was pissing down, the car drivers were wisely taking it easy in the wet and had their lights on, the tram had taken off down the road, and what few foolish pedestrians there were on the street were either taking cover or scurrying home hoping they had dry clothes waiting.
I looked into the shop window. The two blokes working inside were staring back out in amazement at the amount of H2O falling. I paused for a couple of minutes to see how drenched I was, and to see if the rain would let up, even just a little bit. It showed no signs of doing so.
Rather than wait in the cold, with my wet clothes, I (perhaps foolishly) elected to risk getting even wetter, by walking the last two minutes home. The footpath was drowning in water; in fact the grass seemed not exactly dryer, but at least slightly less wet. The rain kept falling at that magic 45Ã¯Â¿Â½ angle, and was being blown around by the wind in enough different directions to make using the umbrella virtually impossible. I arrived home soaked to the skin, all my clothes drenched, in severe need of dry clothes, a heater on max and a hot dinner. Thankfully, all three were available.