Storms, funnel cakes and #8216;short-sleeve britches#039;

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 17, 2007

Anyone with a pulse knows that we haven't had any rain in this area in weeks.

Needless to say, when I arrived at the Crenshaw County Rodeo Friday night to work the ticket gate, the last thing I packed was an umbrella.

I had my cell phone, money, my car keys, two cameras, a chair, and even a cardboard fan - but no umbrella.

Everything was rolling along just fine until about 6:45 p.m. There we were - members of the Luverne Kiwanis Club - taking up tickets and money, when, pretty soon, we all began noticing the skies all around us. The lightening started, the thunder began to roll, and the wind picked up.

Now, before I get to the scary part, let me preface this with one comment.

Mr. Joseph Eiland was the only one at the gate with &#8220short-sleeve britches.” I realized he kept saying something about his &#8220short-sleeve britches,” but it just didn't compute in my brain at first.

&#8220My grandfather always called them ‘short-sleeve britches,” he told us, laughing. &#8220It took me a while to finally figure out what he was talking about.”

It took me a while, too. He had on shorts.

Okay. Here comes the storm.

As the lightening got closer and closer, and the wind got stronger and stronger, we all began to get more worried.

And then the rains came.

Now, I'm not talking about your pleasant spring showers. I'm talking about straight-line, hurricane-force winds that would make the rain blow sideways.

Right before the storm hit, Kathi Wallace had gone inside to run an errand. She was lucky; that left me, Dale Shepherd, Tia Compton, Alethea Gammage and Mr. Eiland outside underneath the tent when the bottom fell out.

As the wind began to blow the rains in on us, we huddled closer and closer together in a vain attempt to keep dry.

It didn't work. At least not for all of us.

Here comes Mr. Eiland in his &#8220short-sleeve britches” scrunching in the middle of all of us women.

&#8220I'm like a goat, nowŠ.I don't like to get wet,” he said.

I would have laughed harder, but I quickly realized Tia Compton and I were completely shielding him from the hurricane-force winds and rain. After the t-shirt tent collapsed and we were all feeling like Dorothy and Toto and her Kansas house about to be swept away, Mr. Eiland yells, &#8220Run to the concession stand!”

And run we did.

Now, as soon as we get inside, Mrs. Compton and I look at each other, assess the fact that our clothes, hair and shoes are just as if we had stepped out of the shower, and then we do the very next obvious thing - we check each other's make-up.

Don't ask me why, but a woman can come in from a monsoon, and she's going to ask, &#8220Is my mascara running?”

After assessing the wet damage to our hair and clothes, needless to say, we soon realized Mr. Eiland's &#8220short-sleeve britches” were rather dry.

Well, the night was not a total loss, by any means. The rodeo went on, and I got a funnel cake, thanks to Kristin Compton, before I went home. So, all was right with the world once again.

After relaying the night's adventures to Samson, my 21-pound tomcat, he decided that he needed some &#8220short-sleeve britches.” I'm just going to have to buy him a pair of kitty suspenders to help hold them up.

Regina Grayson is managing editor of The Luverne Journal. She can be reached at 335-3541 or by email: