Blog: Never Mind

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Burt Ross

As some politicians are prone to say, I misspoke. I didn’t mean to, but nevertheless, I told an untruth. I wish I could sugarcoat it, but I can’t. Those of you who know me know I tend to exaggerate, and sometimes I just go over the top. In order to coax friends of mine from “the old country” (New Jersey) to come visit me, I got carried away.

I told them it never rains in Malibu, and July is the perfect time to come. I insisted they leave all their rain gear back east. Not only will there be no rain, I insisted, but no humidity either, and of course, no need for air conditioning. I told them there would be no clouds, nothing but sunshine, and they should bring lots of sunscreen. The distant views would be staggeringly gorgeous, I promised. In other words, they would be leaving their hell and coming to share my paradise.

If only that had been the case. When they arrived this past weekend, they got out of their car, and then it happened — the sky lit up, the thunder roared and down came the rain. I tried to ignore it, but when you are standing outside in the rain with no raincoat or umbrella, precipitation is tough to ignore. My guests didn’t say anything. They were too busy running for cover.

When the rain stopped, I took my guests outside, but the outdoor furniture was sopping wet. I pointed to where once upon a time had been a magnificent view of the coast, but pretty much all they could see were clouds. My guests are very close friends indeed, but you could see my credibility was taking a major hit. 

Quite frankly, I didn’t know what to say. I felt like telling them the rains were most welcome, but that is not exactly what I promised them. All I could muster up in referring to my weather predictions was a very meek “never mind.”

Since sitting outdoors didn’t seem to be in the cards, we went indoors to watch some television, but not before I turned on the air conditioning. What we saw on the tube were people running for their lives and cars burning and exploding on a major interstate. California was experiencing James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain,” all at the same time.

My friends left after a couple of days, and I had the sneaking feeling they wouldn’t be coming back any time soon.