Wednesday, July 04, 2007

H2O

We are a naturally water-loving species. We require it to survive at every level. We spend the first 9 months of our existence floating in fluid. Babies take to water like fish. The majority of the world's population lives near a source of water. Our noses are shaped the way they are to help prevent water from entering them when we're swimming. At the end of a long day people soak naked in water. When we wake up, we turn a spigot and cover our uncovered selves with it. We swim in pools, lakes, rivers, and oceans... some of which are filthy. Was there any summer activity more fun as a child than running through the sprinkler, sliding down a slip 'n slide, or tossing water baloons at your friends who were shooting you with water guns?

So why is it that when it starts to fall from the sky people COWER IN FEAR?? Why does the smallest shower of rain cause hundreds of umbrellas to open? Mothers to bundle up their children? People huddle under small rooftops and awnings to avoid this apparently deadly poison from the heavens.

I don't like getting soaked in the rain either, but there's a difference between a downpour and a sprinkle. Today on my 1 minute walk from condo to subway, I had to dodge a parade of umbrellas and slide around crowds of people bundling up and raising newspapers over their heads to avoid the PATHETIC LITTLE SHOWER of rain that was coming down. It was quite sad. One father running up the steps with a newspaper over his head while his wife made sure their children had their hoods up, hats on, and umbrellas ready. Seriously, it was a barely noticeable amount of precipitation.

One of my favourite stories is about the time I was in Rome. My family and I were walking around, looking at the regular tourist sites. Rome is very crowded. We got to the Spanish Steps, and they were covered in people. Getting a picture was next to impossible due to the fact that crowds were regularly walking in front of you, tour groups would stop in your field of view, and people are generally asshats. Then it started to rain. On cue, everyone ran under the nearest awnings they could find. Umbrella salesmen appeared from nowhere (I'm serious) offering their wares. Crammed under a stretched out of piece of cloth, I realized that this was nothing more than a slightly heavy summer shower. I stepped out into the rain, to the disbelief of the crowds. I threw out my arms and laughed, strolled casually in front of the now empty steps and the barren square in front of them, and took my pictures. The Spanish Steps, devoid of humanity, and me with all the time in the world to enjoy it. Why? Because little droplets of water were falling from the firmament.

People are pathetic.

1 comment:

meanhappyguy said...

I can attest to the silliness in Italy when it comes to rain. About ten years ago I was in Venice with a group from school. The rain started and everyone dashed under awnings, while we just strolled through the empty city in our rain jackets :) We definitely got some weird stares too.