Thursday, May 18, 2006

Oh, hail no!

The buzz around the office this morning was all about the crazy storm we had yesterday afternoon in Chicago. This is what I listened to for about thirty minutes:

Co-worker 1: "Did you see that storm last night?!"
Co-worker 2: "Yeah! I drove through it!"
Co-worker 1: "Do you see that hail?!"
Co-worker 2: "Yeah! It hit my car!"
Co-worker 1: "Can you believe that storm?!"
Co-worker 2: "No way!"

Unfortunately, no one else was making weather / Hades puns (and, of course, I only made mine in my head because I don't want to be that guy that no one knows who makes punny jokes).

Unlike co-worker number two, I was not driving through the hail; I had the pleasure of walking through it. Here's my story, just in case you, dear reader, happened to just say in your head, "Hey! I want to know about Tyler's hail experience!" (If you didn't, well, go to hail. HA HA HA.)

Since Kristin and Dan are out of town this week (in the beautiful Argentina and Harrisonburg, respectively), I'm in charge of the lovely Charlotte, as seen here and here. (Don't be upset about the second picture. She wasn't in pain. She liked it.) Since it had stopped raining, and I was slightly retarded, I decided to walk four blocks to the Brown Line stop at Sedgewick instead of walking two blocks to the Red Line stop at North/Clybourn. (I did have a somewhat rational thought in my head. I figured that I'd have to be on the Brown Line anyway to get home, and I would spend as much time walking to the Sedgewick stop as I would waiting on the platform at Fullerton when I transferred from Red Line to Brown Line. I'm just putting this in here so you don't think I'm an idiot for choosing to walk twice as far when it was decidedly overcast and it had rained all day long.)

I managed to make it about two blocks on North Avenue before I felt a few rain drops. I thought, "Well, it could be worse. It's just rain." Oh, me. About two seconds later I noticed that pea-sized clumps of ice started to pelt the pavement. Hmmm.

I started running to Sedgewick after walking a block and trying to dodge the hail, which really didn't serve any purpose other than making me look stupid. Of course, all of the people driving their very fancy cars on North Avenue (seriously! I only saw Audis, Mercedeses(?), and BMWs) probably thought that I was poor since I was walking to public transportation in the rain / hail, so my level of intelligence most likely didn't cross their mind.

When I got onto the platform, glad to be under cover, the wind picked up. Hail started blowing everywhere, and the other CTA patrons and I stood there, huddled under the metal roof with our mouths hanging open. When the Brown Line finally arrived (crowded, of course) and the doors opened, passengers started jumping out quickly to avoid the water dropping off of the curved car roof. One woman screamed. (It actually wasn't that terrifying, but I thought I'd relay that part of the story anyway.)

By the time we got to the next stop at Armitage, the storm had blown over. (Thankfully, it was headed South.) It was a surreal sight to be traveling above houses and apartment buildings that appeared to be covered in snow, which was really weird because it was over seventy degrees. I guess you would say it looked as if hail had frozen over.

Sorry, that doesn't really make sense. And I doubt you would say that.

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