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Alison and its aftereffects

In 2001, Houston Press writer Richard Connelly and his family were flooded out by Tropical Storm Allison. More than a year later, his house was torn down after they got a FEMA buyout. Allison has had a huge effect on his neighborhood, which is not very far from my own. Take a moment and read both stories. Here’s an excerpt from the first one, titled “Wading for Godot”, to whet your appetite:

Everyone has had a Bizarre Moment in life, a moment when you just step back and ask, “How the hell did I get in this situation?”

Often it’ll come when you’re attending the wedding, say, of two people you thought you knew well. Then the preacher announces that the loving couple have written their own vows, and that those vows are based on Time in a Bottle and the rest of Jim Croce’s works.


My own Bizarre Moment came sometime in the predawn hours of June 9, courtesy of Tropical Storm Allison.

I was standing in the middle of my living room, taking a leak. While normally pissing in the living room would be considered a social faux pas among the Smart Set — unless your name is Jackson Pollock — Miss Manners might have given me a pass this time, seeing as how I was thigh-high in fetid, brackish water that had spread throughout the house. Wading back to stand over a commode that was itself under water seemed somewhat pointless at the time.

I’m standing there whizzing, surrounded by large pieces of heavy furniture floating leisurely about as if on a pleasure cruise. Outside, my wife’s car — the one that just got $300 in repairs — sits totally submerged, its burglar alarm gargling pitifully underneath the waves.

The rain continues to pound down in vicious sheets, showing no signs of letting up before we all go under. The only place to sit that’s above water is a wooden barstool currently occupied by my fitfully dozing wife. My nine-year-old son is back in our bedroom, using our mattress as a raft to keep above the waves.

He’s been occasionally nodding off; in the interludes he has been trying to distract himself by singing loudly to the new CD we have been playing incessantly lately.

So there I am, pissing in the living room, watching the incoming water slowly cover up more and more books and doodads and keepsakes, a raging river outside where our street used to be, my wife trying to sleep without slipping off her chair into the gross indoor lake, and I’m suddenly listening to the disembodied voice of a nine-year-old belting out Springtime for Hitler.

Bizarre Moment? Geez, I can only pray that my life never gets more bizarre than that.

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One Comment

  1. Christine says:

    You know, after wading through knee deep water to get home last night, this makes my night not seem quite so bad after all…