‘It’s bordering on the biblical’, those are the words that were uttered from Catherine’s lips last week when describing the torrential rain that visited us for the third day running. Now, I don’t wish to be a pedant, and everyone has their right to an opinion, but there is no way on this earth that an ark would make it down this road. I’ve seen more than one people carrier had its wings clipped (mirrors that is), on the journey from one end to another, and that’s been serious enough, but can you imagine if that were a couple of elephants and a giraffe.
The rain has been annoying and dampened everyone’s spirits, apart from Harry and Gary who are doing a roaring trade in umbrellas and rain hats, who knew they were still manufactured, let alone sold. One fact that revealed itself this week is that Suzy has a phobia and it manifests itself in a lot of screeching and howling.
It was Tuesday midday and people had been scurrying up and down the road all morning, attempting to avoid the puddles, other people’s umbrellas and the threat of a speeding car drenching you from the gutter. Of course the only person who did not respond in this manner was Garth, who has been back to wearing flip-flops since Daphne went away last week to visit her son.
A lesser mortal, in flip-flops in torrential rain, would probably have some haste in their manner, not so Garth, he was sauntering along the road seemingly enjoying the squelch between his toes.
I must admit that watching him is quite relaxing, he is so laid back, however both he and I were stopped in our tracks when a sudden screaming came from number 11. Having previously proved himself as a knight in shining armour to Suzy he adopted this role again and rushed towards her house. By the time he got there Ken and Tom were at his side and even I was doing my own bit, having picked up the phone in case the emergency services were needed.
Suzy had flung open the front door and in between sobs was trying to form the word, ‘Help’.Reg, in a much more sensible frame of mind than I normally give him credit for was the first to respond, ‘is it the baby, is everything alright with your daughter?’
Suzy managed to confirm that yes, everything was fine in that department, and as she seemed to be showing no signs of blood or broken bones I put down the phone and resumed my position as observer.
Garth, however, was much more proactive then either myself or Reg, who had retreated at this point, he stepped across the threshold into the house and wrapped his arms around the distressed woman, who immediately stopped wailing. I was so shocked by this open act of affection that I had to stand up to get a better view.
The flip-flop wearer and the young mother stood in an embrace for several minutes, they appeared to be on the verge of pulling away when a voice boomed through the rain, ‘can I be of some assistance?’ Garth and Suzy flew apart at the sound of Roger’s voice, who had appeared on the doorstep.
It was the first time I had ever seen Garth flustered, the words almost stuttered from his mouth, ‘It was, er, Suzy, er, we were worried about the er baby…she was, em..upset.’
‘I am well aware of the situation with my wife, and pandering to her won’t help, she needs to pull herself together. Ranidaphobia is quite common but we don’t want her passing it on to our daughter’, and with that he swept Garth aside, ushered Suzy into the house and slammed the door.
Tom was the first to speak, ‘I never did like that man, and what’s ran phobia, she wasn’t running anywhere.’
Garth looked quite red and Reg gave him a supportive tap on his arm, ‘Not to worry, she seems alright, you did your best. Let’s hope she gets over the phobia though, I used to be a bit ombrophobic myself, but I take it in my stride now.’
Tom’s face was a picture, he looked like he had entered a world where none of the words made sense, but he soon came up with a solution, ‘I’m feeling a bit phobic myself at the moment, after all this drama, what say one of you fine fellows takes me to the pub for a drink?’
Keen to change the mood they all headed to the Short and Curlies, I, meanwhile had taken to Google to do some research. I could understand Suzy being a bit alarmed about frogs, in fact I also scream when they suddenly hop, but Reg being scared of rain, that’s just ridiculous.