Thursday, April 9, 2009

Storm Troopers

So there I am driving home from a day of meetings in Oklahoma City. The new guy in the office is with me. He is a former cop, former storm chaser, former EMT (who resents it if you pronounce that as Empty). So there we are driving home and we get a few splatters of rain.

"Oh this is on north of us," said the experienced weather guy. "Its really going to make a rough storm about 60 miles north of here. Its that big of a system."

So I drive through the smattering of rain. I have an experienced storm chaser here with me! Hell, this is better than Dopler Radar dude! So I punch the car on up to about 80 MPH when I hear, "Yeah this is how one of our cops got killed. (pause) Hydroplaning." So I back it back off to about 65. He is, after all, the expert.

Then I see speckles around the large rain drops. "Uh-oh," I said while thinking about my poor 2007 Fleet Silver Chevy Malibu. "We are about to get some hail."

The new guy looks around confused, since there is no hail falling. "Nawwww, the hail is all north of us."

Immediately we are met with the pinging sound of semi-solid hail chunks ricocheting off the car body. Soon we hear the CRACK! WHACK! of larger, harder stones trying to crack through the windshield.

"I thought you said this was all north of us!" I demanded at the new guy. About then both of our cell phones buzz and we get an urgent storm warning from the local TV weather guy (costs about $7 per year for the service). We are in a severe thunderstorm, do not venture into it unless you are a total douche bag that doesn't care if his car is beat to hell.

"Look up ahead," the guy soon to be known as "Short timer" said to me. The sun is shining, so there is no hail there."

I speed up to hit the clear spot sooner.

"Hydroplaning kills people!"

I slow down and endure the click clack cracking of the hail stones on my car. Soon enough we are driving in sunshine. "See," said the former employee, "It all went to the North. We are free and clear now!"

OK two more hail storms later, each worse than the one before it, and we finally made it home. I hate driving in Oklahoma Spring weather.

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