- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Wet enough for you yet? It is so wet out there that people’s faces are starting to resemble a pug’s.

It has been a good week only if you are moss, mildew, roofers, gutter repairmen or part of the local television’s storm-team coverage.

There is no more compelling sight on television than a soggy reporter in rain gear speaking earnestly before a camera.

The reporters in the field inevitably reveal several interesting findings, which are: It is raining really, really hard. There are flash-flood warnings everywhere. Do not go swimming at Chain Bridge. And the apocalypse is before us.

All this weather-related commotion is an apt segue to the hurricane season, whereupon well-seasoned network and cable types travel to the eye of the storm and breathlessly cling to telephone poles, urging everyone but their crew to leave the threatened region before it is too late.

This is highly entertaining stuff and sometimes an aid to career advancement, as it was with Brian Williams a few years ago, when he allowed himself to be plastered against a concrete wall, with his face impossibly contorted by a ferocious wind.

Right there, in that frightening moment, he demonstrated that he was more than just a pretty face. He was Jim Carrey at his rubbery-faced best.

Anyway, the rain of biblical proportions in the D.C. region is undoubtedly connected to “An Inconvenient Truth,” headlined by Al Gore, who thinks we are in deep trouble and the meteorological signs are all about us.

And perhaps they are, although the sky-is-falling industry has had many previous forms. Not too long ago, we were told to buy parkas and dog sleds in anticipation of an ice age.

Now we are being urged to invest in property on Greenland in anticipation of an inferno age caused by soccer moms driving sport utility vehicles, John Travolta’s private jet and George W. Bush.

It is hard to predict what impact, if any, all this environmental hand-wringing will have on sales at Eastern Motors, where “your job is your credit” and LaVar Arrington became something of an acting legend.

Not all scientists agree with the dire assessment of Mr. Gore’s scientists, but we probably all can agree that we humans tend to be awfully hard on the environment.

None of us really wants to imagine the amount of untreated sewage that has been dumped into our two rivers this week.

It is no accident that the Anacostia and Potomac rivers sometimes smell no better than an open sewer after a good rain.

More rain, alas, is in the forecast, although we were granted something of a reprieve yesterday. The sun was out, the sky was blue, and the weaponlike umbrella was unnecessary.

Memo to the cell-phone-addicted armed with an umbrella: You are nearly poking the eyes out of passers-by with your umbrellas and apparently do not even realize it because of your ever-important telephone conversation. You’re so vain, you probably think this sentence is about you.

Memo to tourists and newcomers: We usually do not have a monsoon season in the nation’s capital. We typically have the stay-hydrated season, the Redskins season, the one-flake blizzard season and the Cherry Blossom season.

The monsoon has been a boon to anglers. A neighbor reported catching a good-sized carp in his back yard. In the political spirit of the neighborhood, he released it into his flooded basement.

Now we all know how the gill-sprouting Kevin Costner felt in the making of the celluloid classic “Waterworld,” in which Dennis Hopper plays the creepy bad guy as only he can.

The region has been subjected to innumerable traffic tie-ups this week because of the monsoon, which is not too reassuring if there ever is a real disaster.

City leaders insist there is a disaster plan in place.

The plan is: Scream. Panic.

Pandemonium seems to come to Washington naturally, whether in rain, snow or sleet.

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