Monday, December 06, 2004

I don't think I've ever driven in such crazy weather. As we left, we were all, "It's started raining!" with the unspoken subtext "... but it's not that bad; we can walk in it." But by the time I left the city, it was pelting down with rain, big gobbets that would measure ten centimetres on your windscreen if they'd only last long enough for you to measure them. And by the time I got to the corner of Barkers and Burke Rd, big sheets of lightning were illuminating the sky every thirty seconds, and the rain was smashing down so hard I had to use the windscreen wiper setting I unofficially dub "super crazy fast". Even then, visibility was still poor.

I turned onto Canterbury Rd and the first thing I saw through the trees was a big bolt of lightning. The rain was so heavy that it was like a wall of water. It was slamming into the ground and rebounding almost to the height of my car window. The windscreen wipers were a mere formality. Cars were crawling along at 40, 50km/hr. At one stage, the entire scene lit up like day, and a second afterwards came an earsplitting crack of thunder. It must have been really close.

Although I was shitting myself about being struck by lightning, in typically cavalier fashion I shifted into the right lane and got back up to sixty. (Or so; my speedo doesn't work. I estimate that when it says 60, I'm really going 50. 75-80, I'm really going 60. 100 is really 80. 110-120 is really 100. Also, my dashboard lights only come on when they feel like it, so I couldn't really see how fast I was going anyway.)

Then it started to hail.

It was like driving over gravel. No - actually it was like driving in a shallow creek, because every now and then I would plough through a pool of water that I just didn't see in the darkness. The hail was smacking into my windscreen and I was hoping it wouldn't smash it. Lightning was going off left, right and centre. Some cars had pulled over to wait out the storm. For some reason I thought it would be best just to keep going.

I started to think in a crazed way about bling. The cat's eyes on the road were diamond studs on a Lexus keyring, gleaming as I passed. The rain was thick ropes of platinum chain. The lightning was paparazzi flashes at the Soul Train awards. The thunder was gunshots, only I was doing the drive-by and they were shooting at me.

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