The other day I "volunteered" to join some of my co-workers in a gigantic night parade our city has every year. We were going to walk, hold banners, all that fun stuff, basically just represent our university. Easy peasy.
Until the rain started. We kept up good spirits. The rain continued. We looked like drowning rats. The rain got heavier. We stopped smiling.
Then the temperature dropped, the thunder & lightening started and the streets flooded. We were in the middle of a full fledge storm. At one point, we were wading ankle deep through trash. Actual garbage. People were running through the parade to get to the other side of the street, covered in trash bags and getting soaked, but they didn't leave. There was a mass exodus at the start of the heavy rain, but with thousands of people already there, a few hundred leaving didn't make a dent in the crowd.
So there we were. Walking and walking and walking. The crazy parade watchers were huddled under awnings, hanging their heads out of parking garages and hotel windows. And the super "devoted" parade watchers (and by devoted, I mean drunk) were still sitting in their seats, uncovered Lone Rangers just cheering and cheering as everyone went by. The floats were drenched, banners were dissolving and bands were just plastic covered toy soldiers moving along silently, except for the sound of the drum line. I began to lose feeling in my feet, I was soaked through every layer of clothing and I couldn't look straight ahead because the sideways rain made it impossible to keep your eyes open. I followed the group blindly and just kept thinking, "This is crazy, this is crazy, this is crazy" I'll admit, an "Oh my gosh, I'm going to die here!" may have slipped into the mantra as well.
The parade finally ended, we finished the 3 miles (don't get me started on why it didn't end sooner, like when the news reports read, "Get inside, take cover, stay away from windows!") and we walked another 9,000 miles back to our ride. Except, it wasn't there. Only one person in our group had our driver's number. But his cell phone was soaked beyond the stage of being useful. So we took cover under an awning of a children's hospital and I stood there shaking. On the outside. (On the inside, I was huddled up in the fetal position crying). We somehow managed to locate our driver a block away, he had been stuck when all the roads started closing. So we walk back into the rain, we get into the van and head back to our cars at work. I manage to get home, into the shower and into bed around 1:30 am.
I woke up the next morning still feeling sorry for myself (I like to drag things out sometimes) and planning to for at least the rest of the morning. Maybe even into the afternoon, it really just depended on how much energy I was willing to devote to the drama. So we're driving out to church and I ask The Deputy how his night was. I should mention, he worked the same night of the storm and it was his birthday. He shrugged and said, "Not too bad. But I did have to wrestle a naked, drunk guy to the ground...and he was peeing and pooping blood everywhere."
Just like that, my pity party came to a screeching halt. Well played naked man, well played.