If you're like us you woke up yesterday thinking that you'd set your alarm for the wrong time because the sky outside was as black as Satan's colonoscopy. The clouds had that look your drunken uncle gets when someone argues with his political views, and then the heavens opened up.
Texas has been stuck in a drought for so long that frankly we forgot what a total bitch kitty a real Bayou City downpour can be. Our Facebook newsfeed was full of pictures of a flooded Montrose, as well as the lamentations of many of our friends who were stranded by high water. Sure, we needed the rain, but this was like trying to build up your muscle mass by sewing a bigger dude's arm onto yours rather than exercising.
Since we were stuck indoors with nothing else to do, we started musing about other rainstorms we'd encountered in the course of our pop culture scholarship that royally screwed the pooch.
We've mentioned our love of H.P. Lovecraft about a million times in the course of these pages, and most of that has naturally been dedicated to his most famous creation, the god Cthulhu. We do love his tentacleness, but our absolute favorite Lovecraft story of all time has no supernatural elements in it at all.
The Picture in the House follows a folklore scholar exploring the backwoods of New England. A severe rainstorm causes him to seek shelter in what he thinks is an abandoned house, but is actually the home of an illiterate old man who is obsessed with an engraving in a book. The engraving shows a cannibal market in the Congo.
Through the old man's monologue, the scene gets more and more disturbing. He talks about how the picture makes him increasingly hungry, and suddenly drops of blood start dripping on the page from the second floor. Luckily, at that moment a bolt of lightning destroys the house because God will put up with a lot, but he's pretty good at drawing the line at eating people.
It took some getting used to, but Final Fantasy XII is quickly becoming our favorite in the series. We've played it through twice now, and it gets better each time. There's just something about the story that continues to grip us, plus the voice acting is top-notch.
There's a little sidequest in the game that involves hunting a monster in a region that is either a desert or a flooded plain, depending on the season. If you go there in the rains, you'll find a man named Sadeen who was stranded there in the flooding, and who lost a ring he wanted to give to his wife that was swallowed by the monster. If you go kill the monster and get the ring back, he'll thank you and ask you to deliver it to his wife because he's too sick and weak. Come back in the dry season and give it to her, and she'll start crying. Go back to the same spot in the rains and you'll see that Sadeen was a ghost all along.
The worst part? This affects the story not at all, and the reward you get is almost completely useless. Square Enix basically just does this to depress the everloving hell out of you.
Brad and Janet get lost in the rain and end up on a dead end road with a flat tire. Seeking help, they visit a nearby castle that is populated with transvestite aliens who murder delivery boys for sex-monster building blocks and eat people who give them too much lip. Oh, and who also dress them in fetish wear and sexually abuse them. You might recognize this M.O. as pretty much the same one Jeffrey Freakin' Dahmer used.
But that's not the worst of it. If you've seen the semi-sequel Shock Treatment, then you know that sometime later the entire town of Denton has been converted into a giant television station with everyone being forced to either star in a variety of gameshows or reality shows, or being a constant audience that never leaves their seats. You might recognize this M.O. as pretty much the same one America currently uses.
Our theory is that DTV came to power through sensational coverage of Brad and Janet's ordeal in the first film, and that the money they made enabled them to essentially buy Denton and set the mold that has destroyed society as we know it.
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Have you realized that one rainstorm started the entire War of the Ring? Think about it, the only reason that Bilbo Baggins found the ring was because he escaped from the goblins, met Gollum and won the riddle game. The only reason that he was in the hands of the goblins was that they'd been captured while attempting to get out of a torrential downpour in the mountains.
So basically, if the weather had been nice then the whole troop might have passed by the cave and never have been captured at all. Gollum might have lived indefinitely at his subterranean lake, Sauron would never have hunted Frodo, the Shire would never have been invaded, and Gandalf would never have been captured by Saruman while protecting it.
On the other hand... Sauron didn't really need the ring to almost conquer all of Middle Earth. He was actually doing just fine without it. If the ring had never been found, and later destroyed, he would've likely won the war. Soooo...thanks, rain?