For those of you paying even the slightest bit of attention to world events, we had some bushfires in Australia recently. Like in half the fucking country — or at least half the country that had fuel — was on fire. Got sort of close to us, but as I told the kids, there were two suburbs, with fire hydrants and, for now, running water it had to get through before it got to us.
Plus, I have good content insurance, so even if the house did burn, we’d all get new shit.
Then, after the fire and brimstone, we had biblical proportions of rain. Buckets full.
To give you an idea of how biblical, over a four day period the main water catchment for greater Sydney, the Warragamba Dam, rose from 42% capacity to almost double that — 81%. Current volume is 2,123, 261 Mega-litres.
Doing the simple math, that is roughly 1,000,000 Mega-litres of water landed in that damned dam in 96 hours. 1,000,000,000,000 litres.
So, a bit of rain.
The fires are now essentially out (a few still burn, but are well under control), so that’s a good thing. True, there was some flooding. Trains were kacked for a few days. A lot of people worked from home. the Monday and Tuesday.
On the day of the heaviest downpour — Sunday the whateverith — I decided to brave the elements and get some groceries. Can’t have cereal for all the meals.
Naturally all the covered parking spots at the local town centre were taken and I ended up on the roof. Found a spot pretty close to the door. I stepped out of the car, in my flippy-floppies, in almost blinding rain and stepped on the strip of white paint that delineates the parking spots.
The slippery-as-pig-snot white paint.
My legs went out sideways, I achieved almost perfect horizontal-ness and all 100 and a bit more than I’m comfortable with kilos slammed to the ground.
In about 2 cm of water. It had zero cushioning effect.
I am extremely lucky. My daughter could have been with me, and had she, there would have been a video of me stacking on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp (to her closest friends) before I got back to my feet.
Which, frankly, took longer than I’m happy with.
It hurt to breathe. Hurt to walk. Hurt my pride. And I still had to get groceries in soaking wet clothes and a permanent rictus of pain on my face, scaring all the little kiddies as I looked for brioche rolls and dog food.
After a couple of days I finally went to the (free) emergency section of the local hospital (which was free), got checked out by a doctor (free), x-rayed (free) and some pain meds (free for a couple, really cheap prescription for the rest). Did I mention the medial stuff was free? Citizens of America? Free.
Only a minor floating rib fracture, fortunately. Still, it hurt to sneeze, cough, laugh or fart. My son, once he heard the story, laughed and wished hiccups upon me. The prick. It’s a bit better now. That was two weeks ago. Don’t need the meds any more. I’ve got a couple left. If anyone’s interested.
Moral of the story: Stay inside if it’s raining. If you have to go outside, don’t wear flip-flops. If you have to wear flip-flops, do it in a country where medical care is essentially free.