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July 15th, 2005

Living in a Dry County

SLIGHTLY OFF THE MARK
We may not yet be in a crisis stage, but the weather’s been awfully dry around here. Worse still, it’s been awfully wet everywhere else, as if Mother Nature was teasing us with all that water that never quite arrives. It’s like a Jack Daniels whiskey distillery I once visited that is, ironically, placed in a dry county.
Whose brainstorm was that?
I would like everyone in the Albion area to know I’ve been going to great lengths to prevent us from getting too dry. I’m talking “stop taking showers” dry, not “Can you believe those guys are making booze down the road and we can’t have a sip?” dry.
I did everything but perform a Native American rain dance. Granted that I am part Native American, but I’m also part Irish, which would bring us back to that whole whiskey thing. If my dancing produced a rain of whiskey it would be quite a coincidence, because it usually takes whiskey to make me dance in the first place.
(I mean no disrespect toward Irishmen who can’t hold their whiskey, or Native Americans who can’t dance.)
The last time we had a good, soaking rain was when I made plans to spend the entire day outside, at the Indiana Beach amusement park. We spent the morning in thunderstorms, and the afternoon in a steam bath. Coincidence? I think not.
So, when things started to get really dry, I decided to make use of my incredible bad luck and bring some much needed moisture to the area. What did I do to make it rain? I’m glad you asked. Naturally, I went out every day without my umbrella, raincoat, or rubber boots. That was the easy part, because I don’t own any of those things. I also don’t own any whiskey – but I digress, which is something that would often happen if I did own whiskey.
Also, I washed my car. Those who say I only do that once in a blue moon are jumping to conclusions – I don’t even know how often we have a blue moon. If it’s more often than once a year, chances are I don’t wash my car every blue moon.
I watered the lawn. Well, okay, I washed my car on the lawn, which in my mind qualifies. Why should I spend a lot of time and water on making weeds grow, when so many farmers are trying to kill them? If I had grass on my lawn, that would be a different story.
When none of this worked, I left my car windows down all night long. I’m talking electric windows, electric door locks – the last time I left the windows down during a shower, the doors locked up and trapped me inside for three days. (Just to make it clear, the windows were closed while I was trapped.) After all, I have no more luck with electronics than I do with weather, so I figured the double-whammy would do the job.
It didn’t, so I pulled out the big guns. I opened up all the windows in my house, and left town completely for an entire day. When that didn’t help, I moved boxes full of paperwork in, right under the windows. Not packrat stuff, mind you, but honest to goodness “You’d better have this or the IRS is gonna get you” stuff. Precious, easily soaked and ruined, worth its weight in gold paperwork. In cardboard boxes. With no lids on them.
Nothing.
Then I mounted electric fans in all my windows, blowing inward and turned on high. I pointed one at my computer, another at my TV, and a third at my fuse box. Then I went to work, where I would be unable to leave even if the Perfect Storm formed in my living room.
When I returned, everything – paperwork, electronics, all of it – was dry as an English butler’s sense of humor.
Since then it’s rained – a little, like giving an eye dropper to a thirsty man. Well, I want to be helpful, especially to farmers (because I like to eat), but there’s only so much one guy can do. I’m left with only two desperate ideas to bring a soaking rain to the area. The first is writing a drought column a week before deadline, in which I say it hasn’t rained, which is what I’ve just done. We could be sandbagging by the time you read this.
The second – holding a yard sale. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to sell that junk I picked up at other yard sales.
But first, I’m buying some feathers, and going out for whiskey.

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