Monday, July 21, 2008

Pan Fried Marius


It is said that Florida is just a few years of inattention away from returning to the primordial swamp whence it came. The flora and fauna of this prehistoric paradise are as fierce as they are scenic. I have lived here long enough to know how to avoid the dinosaurs, and feral plants, and blood draining behemoth insects that thrive along this sun drenched peninsula, but the one thing I cannot avoid is the smiting hand of an angry deity. Today I was nearly smote.

Some of you know that we get more rain than any other of the contiguous states. Hawaii has us beat, but just barely. And being that topography is something we only read about, anything taller than a blade of grass is a fair target for lightning. I have seen some glorious displays of nature's electrical fury, from multi-pronged arcs that shoot across miles of sky, to the almost gentle caress of an incandescent filament as it gracefully detonated a power line transformer. But today I got a taste, thankfully a small taste, of the 1.21 gigawatt Hand-O-God(tm). We were heading home after spending a day in St. Pete, and I realized that we needed some beverages and cat food. It was raining like hell, since it was a summer afternoon, and even hailing a bit. Fortunately our car is old enough that a light hail storm is amusing. So I pulled into the Publix shopping center, annoyed by all the idiots who seem to think that the possibility of getting wet negates things like parking and traffic laws. Mrs. Marius opted to wait in the car, so after parking I took the one umbrella. I normally eschew such implements, but it was raining rather hard, so why not. I was halfway to the door, grumbling to myself about all the selfish, hydrophobic assholes, when a blinding flash and deafening explosion nearly knocked me to the ground. Judging by the direction and instantaneous crack of the thunder I think the bolt detonated just over the parking lot. Again, this is Florida and I have been relatively close to such strikes before, but what made this one different was the jolt of electricity that coursed over my skin. I've eaten enough current in my profession that I know what it feels like to have an electric charge course over me, and this one, if you'll forgive the choice of words, shocked the crap out of me. It wasn't enough to be painful, or dangerous, but once I realize just how close that bolt had to be to induce a current across my dry(I had an umbrella so my arms were dry) skin I quickened my pace just a tad. To be honest it was rather exhilarating, but I'll be very glad if that is as close as I ever get to licking the cosmic battery.

TTFN.

Marius the Slightly Singed

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I remember another close call in the Before Time when we were on one of those dead of night rambles thru Gainesville when we & C were similarly near thunder struck by a close passage of Thor's hammer.
Must be some sort of animal magnetism.
--G

Stinkypaw said...

That could have been painful, and a lot more scary! Glad to read it was just pleasant enough to electrify your steps. ;-)

Alysoun said...

YEOWCH!!!!

Glad it was just a graze!

Turtle said...

How funny... The odds of being struck by lightning are astronomical, yet the close calls are numerous...

I was driving home from an event and the weather took a turn for the worse, and the very air was sundered by violent bolts of violet.

One bolt struck a tree on the side of the road, just as I was passing. It was close, but not too close, and I was luckily ensconced in the rubber tired safety of my vehicle. Even still, it felt as though my entire body just got scrubbed by a giant brillo pad made of tingle, and the sonic boom was enough to (rhetorically) scare the crap out of me.

I pulled into a convenience store just down the road a bit, to sooth my jangled nerves, take advantage of the ever-so-sparkling facilities and purchase a bottle of the diet beverage of my choice.

Upon entering the franchise, I noticed that the clerk behind the counter was staring at me. Hard. I was on my way home from an SCA event, so I was tired and frazzled, but I didn't think I looked *that* bad!

Upon entering the Men's Room, I discovered that I did indeed look *that* bad, but not because of my weekend plans. It seems that the nearby strike of heavenly fury made my hair stand on end, and I had a (very bad) afro.

A few handfuls of water and a couple minutes of studious combing got the urchin-like 'do under control, but paying for for the soda was down in a "don't meet her eyes" kind of fashion...

Oh, well. At least I gave someone else a story they could tell to their friends on those drunken nights...

Rosebuckle said...

Wow, glad your OK.

flurrious said...

That sounds ... kind of exciting, actually. But I'm glad you're not all toasty.

Marius said...

So, if we lived in a slightly different universe, we'd be superheroes now, eh G and Turtle?

;-)