In another in a series of notable pronouncements, religious broadcaster Pat Robertson says God told him storms and possibly a tsunami will hit America's coastline this year. "If I heard the Lord right about 2006, the coasts of America will be lashed by storms," Robertson said May 8. On Wednesday, he added, "There well may be something as bad as a tsunami in the Pacific Northwest.
So, does the snow this week qualify? Will he say it qualified if nothing else happens? If something really big does happen will I be embarassed by this entry in our blog? I predict that Robertson will find a way to make his predictions come true. I predict that I will find a way to embarass myself on this blog. I predict that one of the two won't matter much.
Weather people, on the other hand, can't make one of their predictions come true. They can sometimes do generics, like the little smiley face sun with a cloud partially covering it that you see when you go to AccuWeather for Clatsop County. They have to go with what they predict is going to happen. I, like everyone else, looked up the forecast for winter. Is it going to snow? Here? Can I innertube on 17th like when we were kids and Pat went flying down the hill gaining momentum with everyone piling on? Remember that? The huge truck innertube started out slowly, gliding side to side, playing bumper cars with parked vehicles until something like twenty kids were stacked precariously on top. No, really, do you remember?
SUDDENLY PLOP! A child falls from the top in front of the tube, is deftly scarfed down and squirted out of the rear like the morning's danish. If you weren't there, somebody had to have told you about it. I'll remind you: Wailing ensues but cannot be distinguished from the squeals of joy of the children still on the tube, the shreaks of terror of the children in front of the tube and the children cheering the tube on.
In fascinated horror, adults look out the windows of the houses lining 17th street. Mothers holler out their back doors for the younger kids to get in to the house, NOW, "before somebody gets hurt." This spinning, black saucer of arms, legs and heads cascading down, down, down the long, long, long hill is going to get someone hurt and everyone just watches in fascination. Who is it going to be? Children falling off, children jumping on and this can not end but in disaster. At the foot of the hill is a very small snow wall the children have built to keep the sleds and tubes from flying out into traffic on exchange. There is no way this small, two maybe three foot wall would keep the tube of death from rocketing off Seventeenth and launching children into space over the Moose Lodge.
The innertube hit at an angle and the crowd cheered as the wall stayed intact! The tube rode the wall all the way across the street with only one child loosing their seat until, until the stop sign! The innertube hit that stop sign full on and children flew everywhere! The old Coca-Cola bottling Company had children hanging off its sign, children were vomiting over the snow wall. Onlookers who weren't even on the tube had children hanging off of them. Laying on the ground, in silence, laid two of the tubers, who had been on the tube first when it started at the top of the hill and rode it all the way to the bottom, underneath all of the other children.
Quickly, two teams of four teens (the ambulance squads, trained in causing massive injury where little or no injury had previously been noted) grabbed arms and legs and ran the two unconscious young lads to the merciful sisters at St. Mary's where their parent's and the local priest were promptly called.
Now that, I believe, was another year when snow was not supposed to have happened, much like what this winter 2006-07 called for. Little to no chance for snow at the coast and the only chance for it to happen will be late January, 2007.
The snowfall of the year of the innertube (what year do YOU think that was?) may have qualified as a storm the size of a tsunami. No deaths, however, some damage. I don't think livelihoods destroyed. I think some good memories reminding us what it is that we hold dear here. Impossible to predict the unpredictable. In innertubes speeding out of control down an icy hill or weather or life.