Saturday, June 27, 2009
Torrential rain makes everything better
Rainstorms makes everything into a party.
I was waiting for Dianna at the Smithsonian Sculpture garden with their live jazz / zydeco band. This event makes people so happy - you're outdoors with hundreds of merry people dancing and doused in sangria and beer.
I brought a pizza, since the 40 minute wait for food last time almost killed me. So I'm walking amidst all these happy people, and the pizza is somehow this great addition to the event, because I'm getting thumbs up and looks of envy from strangers.
Then the rain comes. The square instantly clears, and people huddle underneath the trees to stay dry. The rain picks up, and people start huddling under umbrellas, both from friends and people who just happen to have some. Bear in mind I still have a pizza box in my hand. In the rain. Under someone else's umbrella.
But we're having a great time. Whenever the rain picks up, everyone laughs together. People are passing wine between umbrellas. No one knows what to do, and that's OK.
It rains even harder, and I'm holding this damn pizza box and I'm really, really soaked. I make a mad dash for the concession building, but it's packed and there are people 10-deep trying to get in. There's no awning. People are squeezed under some table umbrellas on the patio. I muscled my way in with some nice couples. My pizza box was slowly disintigrating, so I offered everyone some. They gladly partook (it was still warm) and they gave me some sangria.
It kept coming down. I got a call from Dianna who was in a cab nearby, and very dry as well. I gave the table the rest of the pizza, grabbed a slice and my fruity booze ("A shot of courage," I said) and ran out into the rain. People cheered as I ran through the sheets of water. "He's got pizza!" they said in admiration.
I made it to the cab. It turned out that the friends we were meeting were just two blocks away at the Smithsonian archives. We drove basically across the street and bolted up the steps. Beneath the massive stone columns, a group of soggy refugees were huddled together, yearning to breathe warmth. And they were drinking and making the most of it.
We popped Dianna's champagne, and had a great time until I developed hypothermia.
Posted by Jonathan Rubin