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March 23, 2007

God Wasn't Willing


And the creek done rose. Which is why most of the road out front of my house is flooded at the moment, and apparently there are more thunderstorms and rain to come. If I die today in the rushing waters, I want you to know I always loved you best of all the Whatever readers. Yes, you. I didn't want to make the other readers jealous. But now, as the waters nip my toes, we have not time for such delicateness.

Hold me.

Posted by john at March 23, 2007 09:29 AM

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Patrick Nielsen Hayden | March 23, 2007 09:42 AM

Stranded starfish have no place to hide.

Steve Buchheit | March 23, 2007 09:49 AM

Ah, thanks John. And I didn't get you nothin'.

Yeah, glad we're into spring. I've been crushing frogs all the way home from work the past three nights. Not a fun drive. Doesn't look like it's time to pack the wife, kid, dog and cats and head to the second floor, though.

Are you flooded in?

Nathan | March 23, 2007 09:57 AM

Another president taken in his prime.


On a happier note, did you leave me anything in your will?

bill.blum | March 23, 2007 10:03 AM

Nice to see I'm not the only one in the area with flooded roads.

John Scalzi | March 23, 2007 10:05 AM

Steve Bucheit:

The standing water on the road is about half an inch thick at most. It's not really a huge problem. But if we get substantially more rain today, we can get cut off.

The house is not in danger of flooding, actually. We're on a hill.


I left you a bag of rocks.

texaspatrick | March 23, 2007 10:09 AM


Nathan got the bag of rocks? I thought you promised that to me!! Well, just goes to show what happens when Scalzi goes all Anna Nicole in his estate planning . . . . I'm claiming undue influence . . . . and some res ispa to boot and just hope I don't go all malum per se on ya!!

Cathy | March 23, 2007 10:09 AM

Hold me?

That's Krissy's job not mine.

And as we in Massachusetts are all checking our basements for the remains of last week's big snow today, I want you to know that we feel your pain a bit. Hope the water doesn't rise too high.

Christian | March 23, 2007 10:12 AM

If it keeps on rainin, levees goin to break,
If it keeps on rainin, levees goin to break,
When the levee breaks Ill have no place to stay.
Mean old levee taught me to weep and moan,
Lord, mean old levee taught me to weep and moan.

Shawn Powers | March 23, 2007 10:12 AM

There are some things I miss about Ohio -- and honestly, the springtime flooding is one of them.

It sparks that "how bad can it get" excitement.

Then the spark plug wires on your 1978 Chevette get wet, and you walk through 15 miles of corn (or beans, depending on the year) because cellphones don't exist yet.

Maybe I don't miss Ohio...

John Scalzi | March 23, 2007 10:14 AM

Ohio misses you, Shawn Powers. That is why we have flooding. Because Ohio in weeping for you.

Chopper | March 23, 2007 10:18 AM

Be careful that you don't go too deep, or at least know where the air intake is on your engine--a buddy of mine tried 8 inches of water in his Mercury Sable and sucked water into his engine, warping all the pistons.

AliceB | March 23, 2007 10:21 AM

Does Ohio get a mud season the way New England does? I hope you don't get too much of it.

(I'm in my rubber boots, this time of year.)

Nikitta | March 23, 2007 10:24 AM

Does that mean that you'll never get to write the books about ninja zombies that it was your destiny to write?!

Not fulfilling your destiny really wreaks havoc with the universal ballance of things and our universe will collapse with other universers, maybe causing those ninja zombies to be real and dangerous because you didn't write about them!

It's a dull day at work, okay?

Shawn Powers | March 23, 2007 10:27 AM

That is why we have flooding. Because Ohio in weeping for you.

Hmm, and since the flooding I remember was much worse when I was actually THERE, why was Ohio weeping so much then?

Musta been tears of joy. ;o)

Patrick M. | March 23, 2007 10:29 AM

AliceB - Surprisingly, NO. Ohio dirt is amazingly water-resistant. It forms into large ponds and then giant blue elephants show up and drink it all.

Didn't you ever wonder where the expression "It looks like a giant blue elephant Spring" came from?

Yep. Ohio.

Nikitta | March 23, 2007 10:29 AM

Ehm - I meant "collide" and not "collapse", but the rest is true!

The End Is Near!

John Scalzi | March 23, 2007 10:30 AM

I know some Michiganders who would dispute that, Patrick M.

Bookninja | March 23, 2007 10:32 AM

God doth deem thine SFWA election bid blasphemous! To the swirling tides with thee heathen upstart!

JonathanMoeller | March 23, 2007 10:34 AM

Actually, the truth is far different.

Using the awesome power of Google Maps, I can see that Scalzi was breeding an unholy army of Orcs (grown in a cavernous industrial dystopia) to assist in his SFWA takeover. Clearly, then, the Ents have marched and flooded his property to put an end to his plans for genre-world domination.

BigHank53 | March 23, 2007 10:36 AM

The last time we went house shopping I ruled out one place because of its proximity to a creek. A lovely piece of land, but there was no way in hell I was going to sleep in house only 15 feet from a creek.

Now I live on a nice hill about 40' above the nearest running water. Growing up next to a river--even just a little one in New England--will teach some bone-deep lessons in the inadvisability of taunting Ms. Nature.

Good luck with the stranding, rationing, Donner-party resolution and eventual installation as the only actual brain-eating SFWA president.

John H | March 23, 2007 10:37 AM

Well, hey! At least it isn't snowing (this week)...

Patrick M. | March 23, 2007 10:45 AM

Uh, John. I think it's pretty clear they are surrounded by great lakes because they don't have nearly enough blue elephant herds as the great Ohs do.

And, clearly, that is due to Michiganders ill fated breeding program of the 1840s. And the fact that the herds were stolen from Ohio in the late 1700s. There wouldn't even BE a Michigan if it weren't for the Ohio Giant Blue Elephant.

Michiganders are free to dispute, but that doesn't change the fact that they are wrong.

AliceB | March 23, 2007 10:47 AM

I'd better start petitioning our legislators about importing some of those blue elephants...

G. Jules | March 23, 2007 10:48 AM

Random information droppage: if you live in the US and you're interested in finding out if you're in a floodplain, or if a property you're interested is, FEMA has online flood map coverage available online. Just enter the address, click View, and then click on the little globe-and-magnifying-glass icon to open up the map. They don't have maps for everywhere, and some of the maps are out of date, but it's the best place to start.

Chang, for rizzle. | March 23, 2007 11:02 AM

I knew it! I knew you loved me most! I knew it! Oh, Johnny!

Ahem. This is why I live on a hill. Granted the bottom of one, but it's a hill nonetheless. Went for a nice walk down it today and back. Allowed my mind to clear, my cuffs to soak and got me into writing something.

Now, they have hills in Ohio? Not them indian burial mounds either. Real God damn hills? Damn.

John Scalzi | March 23, 2007 11:05 AM

Patrick M:

"And the fact that the herds were stolen from Ohio in the late 1700s."

Oh, right: The Great and Regrettable Ohio Blue Elephant Theft of 1798! How could I forget. Athena's doing a diorama about it with her second-grade class even as we speak.

Nathan | March 23, 2007 11:05 AM

I got a bag of rocks! I got a bag of rocks!

Rocks ROCK!

KevinQ | March 23, 2007 11:07 AM

What? FEMA has incomplete and out-of-date information?!?!? Knock me down with a feather.


Cassie | March 23, 2007 11:10 AM

I'm guessing that Krissy grounded you for disobeying her and the flood is her method of keeping you home, right?

MikeB | March 23, 2007 11:11 AM

Still snowing up here. On the other hand it's a balmy -2C today (2 weeks ago it was -24C) - woohoo! heatwave!!

G. Jules | March 23, 2007 11:13 AM

Hah. Well, the "incomplete" is mostly "if nobody lives there (or very few people live there), they might not have mapped it yet", and the "out-of-date" is "some of these maps haven't been updated since the 1970s." They're much better in fairly well-developed areas.

John | March 23, 2007 11:19 AM

Thanks, John. I'll send you some water-wings.

Patrick M. | March 23, 2007 11:20 AM

Oh, I hate when kids have dioramas. Kid's Pepto usually works.

Laurie Mann | March 23, 2007 11:32 AM

Cassie, you beat me to that! ;->

I think mud season is related to how much snow sits on the ground for many months. Which is why mud season tends to be worse in places like northern New England and places like Ohio.

OTOH, we're having a pretty good mud season in our yard in Pennsylvania just now, but that's mostly because the drainage sucks...errh doesn't suck ENOUGH.

Douglas | March 23, 2007 11:55 AM

I dropped in from RSS-land to see how many comments it was before someone pointed out that it's Creek as in Native American not creek as in waterway.

I guess I'll have to stop by later to see when that finally happens.

Jenny Rae Rappaport | March 23, 2007 11:55 AM

I'm glad that I live on top of a hill too and that we don't flood that often in my part of NJ... =)

Although, remind me at some point to tell you how years ago we had a flash flood by my parents house, due to blocked up sewers, and we had to get out to push the car in knee-deep water...

Jim Wright | March 23, 2007 11:58 AM

I always loved you best of all the Whatever readers... - that's just the codeine laced cough syrup talking.

Building a moat around your house, Mr. President, is not the answer.

DOSELLE YOUNG | March 23, 2007 12:02 PM

So, um, flooding, huh?

Is it too late to build an arc out of all those trees on your back forty and sail your butt back to California? I'm just thinking them there rising waters might be some kinda sign...


CoolBlue | March 23, 2007 12:04 PM

I don't believe that for a moment.

Nice try though.

But just to commiserate, the beginning of Spring in Vermont is also known as mud season, and while it isn't raining here (today) all this snow has to go somewhere...

Flood warnings are in effect.

Mris | March 23, 2007 12:07 PM

When I was in college, there was 100-year flooding on the Minnesota River, and we went down to help sandbag the townies' yards to keep the floodwaters out.

"Sandbagging" was slang for taking really easy classes in high school and college, where I was from, and this is *very very wrong*. Sandbagging is *hard work*.

Glad you're on a hill and don't have to sandbag. Er. Yet.

Buck | March 23, 2007 12:47 PM

Gentlemen, please!

The Republican Party was founded in Jackson, MI. The blue elephant that became its mascot was one of an indigenous herd native to the area.

History books would have you believe that the almost war between Michigan and Ohio was over which part of the former Northwest Territories would get Toledo. We really know that it was about cross-border elephant rustlers.

"Buckeye" has nothing to do with the tree- it's a vernacular bastardization of "Pachyderm"- 'packy-derm-eye,' a term given to these reprehensible thieves. "Packydermeye" became "Packeye" and finally "Buckeye." Ohioans embarrassed by the misdeeds of their ancestors conveniently claimed the name came from the tree.

Jim Wright | March 23, 2007 12:48 PM

DOSELLE YOUNG ...and sail your butt back to California? Because it never floods in California right?

I used to live in Fallbrook, between LA and SD. In Southern California every year it was the same thing: Fire, followed by Flood and Pestilence, if you could have worked in a little famine you'd have had all four horsemen of the apocalypse. Bah! I don't miss California at all.

John H | March 23, 2007 12:56 PM

Mris: "Sandbagging" was slang for taking really easy classes in high school and college, where I was from, and this is *very very wrong*. Sandbagging is *hard work*.

Actually, that type of 'sandbagging' doesn't mean to take an easier path, it means to hold something back. One example is in the game of spades - if one team short bids, the extra tricks accumulate. If they reach ten 'bags' they lose 100 points.

Another example is in sales - if a salesman is having a really good month, he may try to hold back some orders until the following month to make it better; or he may intentionally submit a lower sales budget to make it easier to meet the goal.

Madeline F | March 23, 2007 12:56 PM

Are there going to be more crawdads? Oo, I long for more pictures of neon-striped crawdads in your yard! And salamanders, surely some of them as well! And newts! If you ever loved me, John!

John H | March 23, 2007 12:57 PM

Although, now that I think about it, maybe that is the same thing - stockpiling easy A's to get a better GPA...

Anonymous | March 23, 2007 01:12 PM

I live in CA.... and it's not that rosey...don't forget the earthquakes and real estate prices.

Jon R | March 23, 2007 01:12 PM

I live in CA.... and it's not that rosey...don't forget the earthquakes and real estate prices.

Chris Meadows | March 23, 2007 01:26 PM

No, Douglas, that picture is definitely of a flooded waterway, not a flooded Native American…

Patrick in the Philippines | March 23, 2007 01:29 PM

Is the water deep enough for the crawdads and other aquatic creatures to start their seasonal migration across Scalzi land? And will we get pictures of said migration?

Old Jarhead | March 23, 2007 01:41 PM

It is absolutely amazing that a simple post reflecting why John, Krissy, and Athena might have an increasing case of bdellophobia results in this many responsive posts.

I can just imagine John sitting at the computer first thing in the morning sensing the hunger of his own personal blogosphere - the roiling, demanding pool of cyberlust crying out to be fed as he tosses a picture..or a "Bwah hah hahhhh" out into the pool and sees the surface burst apart as the eager teeth seek the morsel he has cast upon those unsteady waters, rending, shredding, deconstructing, and commenting.

On the other hand I did discover that Jim Wright and I both have lived in Fallbrook. While it does suffer from the sins of SoCal you could keep a bowl of avocados in the kitchen and eat them like apples.

Uuuummmmmmm - avocados.

Old Jarhead

PixelFish | March 23, 2007 01:56 PM

Make a raft of the kitchen table or lash some chairs together.

Old Jarhead: Avocados are Nature's Green Butter.

Jeremiah | March 23, 2007 02:51 PM

Someone else mentioned New England springs and checking their basement. I had to somberly smile at that. My parent's house was invaded by water (snow, ice, then snow, then ice, then rain, then melting). And since my stuff was in the basement, I lost quite a few books. :(

Ray | March 23, 2007 04:17 PM

Do not despair John. We lub you also. Just give the word and the Whatever Army will swiftly come to beat the Gods back and rescue you from the great flood.
Mind you that I am 6200 miles.
If it makes you feel any better. The rain is coming down cold and heavy in Vienna as well. But I have beer, movies and guitars. If the Danube floods I will be the one floating on top of a Flying V paddling with a Stratocaster....

Gin Meyer | March 23, 2007 08:32 PM

I always knew you loved me best.

Jim Wright | March 23, 2007 10:22 PM

bdellophobia: fear of leaches - and yes, I had to look it up. Dammit, for an Old Jarhead, you sure know some fancy words. I once knew a Gunny who could swear for a full ten minutes, without repeating himself - in three languages. That's a true art form, I used to stand in awe of him - but I don't think he ever used the word "bdellophobia."

As to the charming little town of Fallbrook, Camp Pendleton, no doubt. I sure do miss the Firehouse Broiler. HOORAH!

Scott Marlowe | March 23, 2007 11:30 PM

If only there were some efficient way to pump all that water down here to Texas... we've been under water restrictions for over a year now with no end in sight. Kind of makes it hard to plant anything when they might cut-off outside watering altogether at any time.

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