As you probably know, a freakishly strong surprise storm blasted through Houston Saturday, leaving lots of street flooding.
And street flooding means stranded cars, either deep in water or parked somewhere that's a dry spot for now, watching anxiously as the water rises.
It's a classic Houston experience to go through. And most everyone who has gone through it has a good story to tell. And those good stories have at least these five things in them:
5. The wave-making pick-up In the never-ending quest for a piece of high ground, at least as it's defined in Houston, you've gotten stuck on a street where the water is high, but hasn't gotten in your doors or maybe, even, your engine. You're not moving, sitting there seething at the rain, when a jacked-up pick-up with about eight feet clearance comes barreling towards you, either from ahead or behind. Trailing it, of course, is a huge wave.
As you increase your cursing exponentially, the giant wave sloshes towards your car, and you sit there wondering if this is the one, while the pick-up driver laughs maniacally as he roars off to get his runnin' buddy who's stuck.
4. The idiot in front of you who SLOWS DOWN as you both are crossing maybe-passable water. It looks like you'll have enough clearance, but it'll be close. So you get behind someone who's taking the same chance, using the wake he's leaving behind, and all of a sudden his brake lights come on. DUUUUDE!!!! Grow balls!!!! Thou shalt not stop!!! L'audace, l'audace toujours l'audace!!! Don't go wobbly on me, George!! Oh you motherf....... 3. The cell phone goes dead. Either the storm knocks it out or the battery goes dead, but all of a sudden you're incommunicado. If you happen to have been using the phone to take out your incredibly high levels of frustration on your helpless spouse, then there is at least one spouse in Houston at that moment who's gone back to whatever he or she was doing, mildly concerned but pretty confident you'll make it home. Eventually.
2. This information would have been useful, oh, twenty minutes ago. You've brilliantly tried to get out of the never-moving line of traffic by hanging a right onto a backstreet. About halfway down that street there's some water but it looks passable, and then it becomes deeper and it's impassable. And you're sitting in your car cursing the gods.
Out wanders a guy from one of the houses, stopping on the sidewalk with either a cup of coffee or a beer, trying to hide his enjoyment.
"Yep," he says. "That's the lowest part of Harris County, just about. Floods every time it rains."
You'd call in a drone strike, but your cell phone's dead.
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1. And, of course, the Houston end to the story. You go one block and it's suddenly all high and dry. One friggin' block.
You're too happy to spend time wondering just what the hell is going on in this town.
We probably missed some things (squabbling kids, souring milk) -- fill us in.