May 17th, 2012 by CrispRoot
Rain, rain, go away… etc. Surely, just about everyone knows this kids’ rhyme… and in parts of the US it’s chanted pretty much year round. Meanwhile, here in SoCal, it gets put to bed about this time of year, not to re-appear until November or so.
I just spent some time in Texas, and saw more rain in 72 hours than I normally see in a month… or two.. or three. That really got me thinking to how various parts of the country view rain, because it’s very, very different.
On the surface, it seems kind of strange… parts of our country get rain year round, while SoCal gets rain no more than six months a year… and quite often less. By May, it’s pretty much done until Thanksgiving. If you’re a baseball fan, that’s pretty cool – you don’t see Dodgers, Angels, or Padres games get rained out very often.
Another difference brought on by rain (or lack thereof): In many parts of the country, if you buy a house and ask where the sprinkler valve or the sprinkler controller is at, they look at you funny. The hardware store hardly even stocks sprinkler parts, not for built-in systems anyway. That just seems strange to me, because in SoCal, if you don’t have sprinklers to use in the summer, you don’t have a lawn – at least, not for long.
That kind of makes me wonder – one of the treats of summer when I was a little kid was to run through the sprinklers when they were on. Do kids growing up in the southeast not get to do that? How sad!
Still, some people in SoCal amaze me. The state goes through droughts on a semi-regular basis, and if it lasts more than a year we get the fun of water rationing… but when the drought finally breaks and we have a rainy winter (in what passes for winter in SoCal), the sun worshippers whine and complain that there’s too much rain and they want the sun to come out. It makes the rest of us want to ask, “Hey! Did you miss the memo? We NEED the rain!”
I guess our lack of the wet stuff is behind one other cultural phenomenon that is seemingly unique to our locale: people in SoCal absolutely cannot drive in the rain. One drop, and they lose all memory of how to drive like sane, rational people. Some slow down to a speed a snail would laugh at, while others decide it’s time to take advantage of the slowpokes and drive like it’s NASCAR season on the freeway. And we’re not talking a downpour here, like I just saw in Texas. This stuff happens as soon as it starts to sprinkle.
The weird part of that phenomenon is, many people living in SoCal used to live in Chicago, or New York, or Dallas – places where they get plenty of rain – and snow, too. So why is it they move to LA, Orange County, or San Diego… and suddenly have no clue how to drive when it sprinkles?
I don’t know… it must be something in the water.