Farmer H called me this morning while I was in line at The Devil's Playground. He was in a neighboring town, and said the tornado sirens were going off, and that I should check the weather. Which is kind of hard to do at the check-out line of The Devil's Playground. I told him that there were big black clouds when we entered the store, and shortly thereafter, we heard a downpour and thunder while on the paper plate aisle. I said that we were headed home, and the storm would probably be on our heels. Au contraire. This freakish storm had come from the other direction, and had apparently passed over The Pony, The Devil, and I, and was now buffeting Farmer H at the nursing home where my grandma now resides. I could hear the clank of walkers and wheelchairs, and the hubbub of staff and residents, though at a later hour, I might have suspected Farmer H to be calling from a sports bar.
The checkout girl, aka The Devil's Handmaiden, chimed in her $2 worth after listening in to my private conversation. She said, "Oh, the sirens went off here, too. Hey! Are they still going off?" The floor walker told her that they had just quit. Handmaiden told me confidentially, "I'm surprised they didn't shut us down and make everybody go to grocery." Indeed.
So if you are shopping at The Devil's Playground, don't assume that your are safe from a tornado ripping the roof off and sucking you out. You've got to pay The Devil his due, and herding customers into a sturdy interior section will interfere with sales. That wacky Devil!
Twice in one week, I was herded into the service corridors of Springfield's Battlefield Mall, and told to assume the position. During one of those instances, a tornado wiped out a subdivision a mere half-mile away. Of course, The Devil does not own Battlefield Mall.
Farmer H made it home from the old folks' retreat, scooped up The Pony, and was off to take our boys and a couple of grandkids to Elephant Rocks State Park. Isn't that what everybody does on a severely thunderstormy day, a day of tornado warnings, and forked lightning, and black clouds and thunder? Take children to the highest point for miles around, to walk a trail across some large granite boulders?
I am surprised only by his decision to leave his nine goats at home.
Here are the rocks on a good day.
Notice the lack of lightning bolts
and funnel clouds and nimbostratus.
Picture my loved ones hiking across
this formation in a seething maelstrom.
Curse Farmer H for his goatheaded ways.
Welcome to my life.