Now that Governor Rick Perry has declared his presidential ambitions, Texans expect him to act presidential--and turn up for his own press conferences. Not a lot to ask!
Nevertheless, Fox News reports that he can barely squeeze in time to address wildfires in his home state, which offers the latest version of Dante's Inferno.
If he could see the rain pouring down outside this writer's window in Owings Mills, Maryland, Perry would weep with frustration, rain so furious it could drench hell itself.
Maybe Robert Frost was wrong about fire and ice as the essential elements of destruction. Rain will do the trick just as neatly, given a few days of consistent performance.
Do readers need Noah to remind them that Nature abides by strict schedules, and it would be awesome if ambitious politicians could do the same?
By the way, how did Noah stand it? After four days of pounding rain here, sales personnel could make a fortune by offering arks with water-tight compartments.
Just go down the steps and into the parking lot. There, the local rug repair companies are busy. Businesses offering leak stoppage thread their hoses like giant anacondas at the oddest times.
This writer's dog has his paws full with providing alarms of all kinds--the rain is coming; the neighbors' apartment is leaking; strangers come and go, and none of them is Noah.
Imagine Noah's plight: forty days and nights of pounding rain! How did he get by without a stress therapist? Without scientists lifting the ionosphere into space, taking the rain some other place?
No doubt, his wife was complaining; his kids were longing for color television, but the rain interfered with transmission, and the signal didn't last for one minute to the next.
His kids especially couldn't bring their Play Stations with them. Noah had to deliver the awful message: God didn't put it on the survival list, so the answer is NO!
If pressed to be honest--and readers know that Noah was an honest man--he regretted that color television wasn't on God's list, too. Not one football game survived the aquatic onslaught of all time.
And his wife had to remember how to prepare fresh Italian pasta sauce without a written recipe--not even those she kept on her net-book, because its battery was nearly done.
But the pounding of the rain was the worst part. It came after the thunder which made clear that somebody upstairs was rearranging the furniture--and the ionosphere would stay exactly where that somebody put it.
The lightning nearly did Noah in. Without batteries for his flashlight, Noah had to depend on the lightning to see everything--and it kept coming and going.
Just when Noah thought he knew, for sure, where the edge of the ark was, somebody turned the lightning off. Then, it was just Noah, one wife, several kids, a few in-laws, and Nature parading up one side of the ark and down the other.
In the dark, one must know by feel and touch, not by the bright images which flash across human eyes like screens. If he could have changed the channel of his life, surely Noah would have.
But Nature was God's handmaiden, and Noah had a single choice: Cooperate with Nature's laws, or never see land again.
When he thought he heard wings in the night, which had gone on for forty days, he was sure he was mad. His wife and kids agreed: Daddy is mad as a hamster!
They chanted that until he knew he had lost his mind at last, and there was no replacing his greatest treasure. Then, the wings came back with an olive branch.
The rain stopped, although Noah believed it never could. The bird landed on the ark. One of two cats grabbed it. The other shared it for lunch. Nothing like fresh dove under glass, Noah concluded.
And the waves simmered with determination. The anger was past, but the test was just beginning. How does a good, honest man contend with a worldly population of rats?
God had confidence that Noah would give politics a chance to organize relief for human stupidity. "Just let them sign a contract," He suggested. "Make it clear: You can be in charge of Congress. I am in charge of the rain."