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Texas | Columns | "Quips and Salsa"

Everything's wetter in Texas


by Jase Graves
Jase Graves

With the easing of COVID-19 restrictions over the past few months, Texas weather has been releasing its pent-up energy like a post-quarantine exhibitionist with multiple personality disorder.

This winter, we had not one, but two snowfalls in Northeast Texas — a region of the country where a snowflake is usually defined as a hipster with a phobia of full-employment and brash ex-presidents with spray tans.

One of our snow events amounted to almost a foot of white powder that forced our doglets to re-evaluate their methods for destroying my lawn. Our Maltese mix even threatened to file cruelty-to-an-animal's-undercarriage charges against us the first time we let her out to potty in the permafrost.

Then spring arrived with a pant-soaking vengeance. It rained almost daily at our house throughout the month of May and the first week of June, to the point that I wondered whether I should force my daughters to accessorize their crop tops with arm floaties when they made their daily runs to Target and Starbucks.

Seriously, though, the constant rain has had some significant economic consequences. Despite a regional surge in snorkel sales, the precipitation and overcast skies stunted the growth of locally-grown crops like watermelons, the taste of which is like a sweet herald to summer for me. I've been known to make a nutritious meal of a whole watermelon in one sitting — seeds and all — followed by a sleepover in the men's room. I guess this year I might have to get my vitamins from one of those ridiculous fruit cups at Chick-fil-a, with a side of large waffle fries and a milkshake (for my veggies and calcium).

I've also taken a personal financial hit due to my generously supplying the nearest storm drain with landscaping topsoil and mulch from Lowe's. Because my inundated yard has taken on the consistency of those makeup sponge thingies that my daughters leave strewn through the house, I've resorted to wearing tall black rubber boots for routine outdoor tasks like taking out the garbage or fetching my designer underwear orders from the mailbox. My daughters especially appreciate it when I pair the rubber boots with my bathrobe — just as their boyfriends arrive to pick them up.

And speaking of my daughters, the swimming pool we installed a few years ago to increase their tolerance of sharing oxygen with us became just plain redundant, acting as the neighborhood retention pond and often featuring water the color of those vegetable cleansing smoothies. I've had to apply so many chlorine shock treatments to the pool water that my youngest daughter and her friends recently received free hair highlighting treatments when they came to swim. Unfortunately, you can now see through their skin.

Although the rain has been a nuisance lately in East Texas, the current extended forecast shows conditions that promise to make us all feel like we're wearing woolen long johns inside an active volcano. We'll almost certainly be praying for rain come August — when our car interiors turn into air fryers, and the only moisture we get is the sweat dripping from our navels.

Until then, I think I'll keep greeting my daughters' boyfriends in my rubber boots, bathrobe and snorkel — just for fun.


Jase Graves
"Quips and Salsa" 6-14-21 column



Jase Grave's "Quips and Salsa" columns
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