‘Weather Forecast For Tonight: Dark’ (said the late George Carlin).
Okay, let’s get this sorted. The world shouldn’t end in 2012. There is absolutely no heightened risk of the world ending. The chances of the world ending in 2012 are the same as they are this year. Think about it. If the Mayans had a prophecy that the world was going to end in 2012, why oh why would they proclaim that prophecy through a calendar? Just imagine that on Dragon’s Den. ‘Okay dragons, I’ve got this idea about a business whereby I create calendars that last for the next 1000 years. The average calendar maker usually has a limited amount of years to showcase his work to the world. However, this could be my legacy, a legacy unlike any other’. ‘Okay, and why 1000 years?’ ‘Ah, well, the world is going to end in 1000 years’. ‘Uh-huh, but why not write it down? You know, in a book, maybe. Your memory will live on through conspiracy theorists on the internet that have nothing better to do than channel Orson Welles’. ‘Oh, good point’. Seriously, think about the logic. Everyone is basing this on a calendar. Am I the only one who thinks the whole notion is insane?
I’ve really got to do more. I was hoping, because last week it was so popular, to continue with my exciting gardening story. Although the notion of me gardening was an enticing prospect for yet another post, sadly, this week, the weather got in the way.
I don’t like it when the weather forecasters lie. It’s not nice. I’m not talking about false forecasts, although one summer two years ago, they forecast a ‘barbecue summer’ in the UK and it didn’t stop raining. No, I don’t like it when they say ‘this is warmer than average for this time of the year’ and that ‘we should consider ourselves very lucky to have this beautiful weather’. I’m sorry, but this is contrived. This is not beautiful weather.
I was walking through the town centre at noon the other day and the sky was black. I really wish I was exaggerating, but I’m really not. It was literally black. It looked like a scene out of that delightfully bad Day After Tomorrow flick.
It was still. I remember the stillness. The wind made a noise but everything around had quietness akin to silence. It was eerily beautiful. There was chaos, but unrelated to the ominous black clouds, looming overhead, a menace unlike anything I had ever seen before.
Suddenly, a loud crash of thunder rocked, a faint echo could be heard (the town itself surrounded by hills – the TV reception, truly awful). A brilliant white light could be seen, but in a strange way, I couldn’t work out from where. There were students from Teesside University all around me. They were wearing long red cloaks and those silly flat hats. It was their graduation day, and they were about to get soaked. They were everywhere. Hundreds of them. Some huddled underneath the arches of our beautiful gothic town hall. Others under various shop doorways. I’d seen it before. Not the hundreds of students, but people cowering for shelter. Some even used the glass bus shelters. That was a mistake.
There was a groan. I remember that. A groan as faint as that solitary clap of thunder. A very faint groan of the wind, brief gusts of 25 miles-per-hour winds roaring through the concrete canyons of our built up metropolis. The strong winds gradually became more permanent. It felt like one of those horrible nightmares that are excruciatingly real, trapped inside my own mind. But I knew it was real. There was no escape.
It was around four degrees Celsius. The rain started falling. It pounded the concrete of our pavements and bounced a few inches back into the air, followed by an onslaught of water. A river flowing from the blackened sky. It lasted for what, 15 or 20 minutes. I feared I would be surrounded by a flood in a moment’s breath. I was looking around wondering where Jake Gyllenhaal was.
People were running. I remember that, too. Everywhere you looked, people were running. Everybody on the streets was running. People were diving into shops as the barrage of hellish rain attacked everything. Other people headed for any kind of shelter, as others held firm and walked through the downpour, like myself.
I managed to get on a bus. That’s when another vicious clap of thunder hit as the sky lit up. There was no solitary lightning bolt. The sky had turned from black to white, the drama heightened by taps on the roof. I looked outside and there was hail. It was hailing. And there I was. Inside that bus with the biggest smile on my face, because it was cool. People running. Signs on the street falling over. I thought it was a typhoon. And then I remembered a scene in that dreadful movie where the bus got obliterated. I spent most of the rest of the journey looking behind me. I don’t know why I was so worried. Even if I saw a wall of water heading for the bus and I got off, I’d still be screwed.
I can’t swim.
‘A poet is someone who stands outside in the rain hoping to be struck by lightning’, said the late James Dickey.
Peace Out :|:
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