- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Washington is enduring a biblicallike rainy season, which is the latest assault on the region’s sense of well-being.

This is the stuff of 40 days and 40 nights.

Which government agency ordered the rain dance?

Washington now needs to build an ark to go along with its lifetime supply of duct tape and plastic sheeting.

A Code Orange terror alert is the complement to the persistent cloud cover.

What’s next, a swarm of locusts?

You feeling pallid yet? Same here.

At this pace, we’ll be developing gills in a couple of weeks.

Washington’s spring season lasted a couple of hours, hardly long enough to provide sufficient color for the Cherry Blossom Festival.

Washington and Mother Nature apparently are not on good speaking terms. We’ve gone from being International Falls, Minn., to Seattle. We’ve gone from the Presidents Day snowstorm to a May with an identity crisis. April showers used to bring May flowers. Now April showers bring more of the same in May.

This is just the beginning of what promises to be an unnerving summer. A West Nile-carrying mosquito is possibly coming to a yard near you. Severe acute respiratory syndrome is making another stand in Toronto. You can’t go outside unless you are wearing a mosquito net and a surgical mask, and you can’t stay inside unless you are covered in plastic sheeting.

This is just not good. You know it is not good if more and more people are opting to don Michael Jackson’s favorite accessory, the surgical mask. He probably should autograph it and start his own line of designer surgical masks.

It is funny how it works. One month we’re living in a drought-plagued area, and the next month we’re all living on a flood plain. No matter where we live nowadays, we’re all kind of living the life of Point of Rocks, Md., the flood-prone locale in the region.

News flash: The sun peeked out of the clouds for a few moments yesterday, if only to taunt everyone. It was a weak sun. It just had no staying power. It worked up all this energy to show itself and then it just disappeared out of exhaustion.

We’re on a bad streak here, Washington and its hardy denizens, and we still have the hurricane season before us. The hurricane season is always tough, especially for the intrepid newscasters who have to travel to the hurricane, then tie themselves around a sturdy lamppost and report that it is incredibly windy and it is raining very, very hard.

For now, we have to decide each day whether to pack a gas mask, surgical mask or underwater mask. Should you wear galoshes or flippers?

The grass is a lush green. That is the one good thing. The bad thing is the grass is knee-high and the yard wars are on hold.

The yard warriors are especially feeling the pressure, ever tormented as they wait it out each day, hoping for the slightest opening to crank up the lawn mower.

Hard as it is to concede, you miss the noise pollution and the action. There is nothing like two or three neighbors going at it on a sunny day, lawn mower to lawn mower, in a death grip to the last blade of grass. But now it is all quiet, all soggy, and the lawn beast is winning. In fact, these are no longer lawns. These are hayfields.

The Memorial Day weekend was the start of the beach season. You could have fooled the merchants in Ocean City. Cool, damp, rainy weather is hard on those who favor thong bikinis and those who favor them.

So this is enough, Mother Nature. End the sun’s work stoppage. We won’t use the melanoma word around it ever again.

Seriously, we’ve learned our lesson. We now know what real weather is. We promise to behave better the next time Mother Nature dumps a two-flake blizzard on us. We promise not to go running to the grocery story and Home Depot. We know the deal now. Honest.

Try to think of the poor local meteorologists. They are starting to feel redundant, as if in a real-life version of “Groundhog Day.” They look outside their TV studios each day, see the clouds and say, “More rain. Pack an umbrella. Deal with it.”

Let’s lighten up on the thunderstorms, too. The sky gets angry, the mutt gets nervous, and it really does become a quality-of-life issue. All we are saying is give the sun a chance.

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