26 August 2010
Yes. I said it. Elephant Farts. Sounds crazy, I know, and it all began with the weather.
You see, in this wonderful province of Alberta, Canada, we have been hit this summer with particularly frequent and damaging, pain-in-the-ass weather systems that haphazardly shift about in the atmosphere above our house.
Okay, so not only our house and the country much less the world has had it's share of crap. But I live here. And it's been quite the year as far as weather goes.
I have a personal vengence on the weather. It ate my garden. Twice. But that's another story, one involving salad cuttings splattering the entire two floors on the West side of our house and much less of it in the neat little garden rows which were reduced to sprigs and sticks and unrecognizable mulch.
Thank you Miracle Grow for bringing it back to life...twice.
No, this weather issue involves my daughter Kait. (Otherwise known as K8...you'll know her from most previous posts). You see, she has developed a fear of tornados, which--thank you ever so much stupid weather--has expanded to include a fear of thunder, lightening, wind, dark clouds and even the first splattering of gentle summer rain or if the sun just happens to move out of sight momentarily.
The wind as much whispers and we see a flash of our daughter, now 11, zoom through the house to the television, the channels flicking past to the weather network and Kait, eyes glued to the set, as she waits for the red "panic strip" to show itself across the bottom of the screen with warnings and watches and what to do if's.
The hail storms we've been through haven't helped; the deafening crash on the windows combined with what seemed a small funnel cloud running through the yard solidified any hope we had at "surviving". Nor has the Network's special report about Tornados that run on an loop every hour.
We move then to tears, panic, hiding under the blankets and crying out, "Mama, is it going to rain? Will there be thunder? You know how I get soooo scared." More tears. "And what about those other things....you know what I mean and I won't say the word or else I'll start freaking out!"
I've tried different tactics. We've reasoned that it's nothing, storms are natural. We've talked about the necessity of rain for the moisture. We even discussed a "Just in Case" Plan, my thinking being that if we are prepared, there'll be less to worry about. Didn't work. We try talking about it, explaining the rarity of tornados, the minimal danger behind thunderstorms short of standing in the field with a metal rod. I've tried joking, telling her that if she asks for a coat hanger to stand in the middle of the field, I'll most likely say "no".
Everything leads to settling her down until the next go round a day or two later when the sky threatens rain once more.
Today, it began after the sky darkened ever so slightly and the weather man--after Kait blurred across the living room--announced "Chance of trace rain this evening for the city."
New tactic. (This is where the elephants come in.)
We've all heard it before...
When it thunders, God is sneezing.
When it thunders, the Gods are arguing.
At our house, when it thunders, the elephants are bowling. (I'm not even sure how the elephants got up there in the first place. Only that they are loud, obnoxious and can throw a mean gutter ball.) We use humor a lot in our house. Usually, it works. This time it took a little more creativity than that.
Of course, the questions began...
"What about the lightening? What's the lightening then?"--Elephant toes in the light sockets. The elephants are not smart and do not follow the rules about staying away from danger. Unlike you, Kait, who would not stand in a field with a coathanger. Because that would be dangerous.
"Why is the thunder sometimes even louder?"--Those are the strikes. Think of Fred Flintstone with a "Steeeeee-rike!" (Pretty sure the raised eyebrows were indication she is beyond the years of the Flintstones.)
"And when they keep coming over and over and faster and faster?"--Another strike, then cheering. The other elephants are excited. Then, the hippos join in and things get way out of control. They're even worse than the elephants.
"So what about the clouds?"--Elephant farts. Very large, very unpredictable and they come in all different shapes, sizes and colors.
"Like pink ones." This from Ben, her little brother, totally getting how hilarious and brilliantly funny his mother is.--At different times of day, the farts change color. Elephant farts are pink at sunset and orange at sunrise and when they're really big huge ones...that's when the wind comes.
So now you know.
Just don't go around plugging your nose when the wind comes up. You might offend the elephants.
A quote from our sarcastic K8, after wondering how those weather people know so far ahead what's coming. My answer: technology is better, they broadcast on TV, we have TV now and...we don't live in caves anymore.:
"So if you live in a house with no TV and no windows and no doors, I know how you can tell...go outside."