Stormageddon: The true story of what happens when one writer took on a Pineapple Express and lived to kvetch about it.
See that picture up above? That’s me during the storm yesterday. And sadly, that’s not a cooler full of beer, it’s full of rain-water. Rain-water which I’m bailing and dragging out to the street. At this point in the storm, I’ve had to get creative.
From this angle, the ground looks dry and fine, but if you turned the camera the other way, you’d see my entire backyard full of water about to enter my house.
Below I’ve posted a timeline of my experience, to show what it’s like when one relatively unmanly and definitely unprepared writer goes mano-a-mano with a Pineapple Express.
12/10 The Storm Gathers
Storms a' comin'. I've never used a sandbag before, but I'm sure about to start. And no, I'm not joking.
“A ominous grim specter hangs in the sky like a vulture waiting for carrion. A storm is coming. The fine yellow line on the Doppler is all that separates civilization and savagery.”
–If Hunter Thompson described a Pineapple Express.
Note: At this point, the sky was starting to do that weird thing skies do before a storm. It was getting quiet, too quiet, and frankly, quite creepy. Plus, ill-prepared people were panic-buying all sorts of stuff at the local Ace Hardware, the fools. I know, because I was standing in line, waiting my turn to panic-buy as well.
“The rain fell hard. Hard like the tears of a matador who's slaughtered his toro. Men cry too.”
–If Hemingway described a Pineapple Express.
"The sky slobbered savage rain on sin-city streets. Soaked sun-baked CA. Rain-ravaged junkies juked to its be-bop beat."
–If James Ellroy described a Pineapple Express
You know what's low-rent? Well-heeled Marin residents sending their gardeners to pick-up sand-bags that volunteer firemen have filled for the elderly. Stay classy, Marin!
“We’re getting 8” of rain in 12 hours, I’ve got two sump pumps, a bucket, a case of beer, it’s dark, and I’m wearing sunglasses.”
Note: Astute readers will recognize this as a riff on one of the best lines from one of the best movies ever made, The Blues Brothers. Non-astute readers will wonder why I’m wearing sunglasses at 11:01 at night.
12/11 The Pineapple Express pulls into the station
You know what wasn't fun? The part where the power went out.
Note: At this point, the author soiled his trousers.
Now I’ve got 4 pumps going (borrowed some from the neighbors), and the storm is winning. Curse you storm. At least we'll be able to boat around my living room.
Note: At this point, weather stations report that the rain was falling at the rate of 14” an hour. It was here that my wife and I stopped bailing, started rolling up the carpets, and digging in the couch cushions to raise money for repairing the damage that would hit our house when the water came in. Because the flood water was literally at the lip of our doorway.
If the Walking Dead has taught me anything, it's that I should get ahead of the curve on this Stormageddon and start eating people. You know, just to get the taste for it.
Note: See that bit of funniness there? Ha Ha! Is the author so cavalier in the face of danger? Is he Mr. Cool under fire? No, the storm just backed off a bit at the exact moment it was about to pour a couple thousand gallons through our backdoor.
I've got the 4 sump pumps back online! This Pineapple Express shall not pass. Not coincidentally, I just saw the Hobbit last night.
It just occurred to me that all the electric cords running my pumps are underwater. I’m pretty sure this will get me killed. Why isn’t this killing me yet?
My yard, sensing danger, has cleverly disguised itself as a swimming pool.
It’s all over. I’m calling it. The Pineapple Express died at 6:52pm tonight.
3(!) sump pumps valiantly gave their lives today to save my house. I honor their sacrifice tonight with a 3-beer salute. Actually, make that 4 beers.