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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

 

Summer and lightning

When the storms hit today we all got pulled off patrol and back to base for ‘Bad weather’ duties. This means car parks, either the three multi stories, or working out of the van. Asif, my oppo for the day and I, went round checking and clearing drains to try and prevent flooding. Not the most pleasant of tasks, but we just got on with it, trying to ignore the odd dead rat (and occasional live one).

Now Asif and I have been buddies since the day we both started. We crack the same silly jokes and take the piss out of each other unmercifully. Some of the stuff we say to each other might be classed ‘racist’ if an outsider heard our banter. Nonetheless, we are brothers in arms and that more than eliminates any historical / religious / racial differences. He is as welcome in my house as I am in his. I can even crack irreverent remarks in front of him without hurt, even though I know he is a deeply religious man. In return, Asif is usually the first to give me stick first thing before we go out on patrol. We are friends. No more need be said.

So this afternoon, when the rain was a-raining and the hail was hammering down, I stood watching large pea size hailstones bouncing off the concrete from my sheltered vantage point. Asif was farting around like he’d never been in a storm before. I just drank my tea and watched nature’s light show.
“Hey, Bill.” Says Asif. “Race you to the entrance.”
“Nah.” I replied phlegmatically, whereupon Asif steps out (in shirtsleeves) into rain that is more like being under a waterfall than just a shower. In two seconds, the daft beggar is wet through.
“Stuffin’ hell.” Remarks Asif. “That’s not very nice.”
“It’s wet too.” I remarked.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” Sometimes I worry about him. Nice lad, shame about the brain.
“Think of it as a learning experience. If I’d just told you, you wouldn’t have believed me. Trust me mate, it’s better this way.”
“That hurt.” He was referring to a number of direct hits he’d suffered with hailstones on his shirt. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Because Asif me old mucker, you wouldn’t have believed me. I learned not to go out into thunderstorms a long time ago.”
“Right. That’s a big help.”
“Because I did exactly what you just did and found out for myself.”
“Ah, right.”
“Kettles boiled.”
“Good idea.”

So we skived off for another cup of tea and I lent him my towel. You’d do as much for a mate wouldn’t you?.

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Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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