IT comes as no surprise really.
The Weekend Australian says drought is traditionally followed by above average rainfall.
You don’t have to be Einstein to work out that if you don’t have any rain for 10 months, then the two months when you do get it are going to be… well, really wet.
They say it’s the Poms who talk about the weather, because they get so much of it, but you only have to live in Townsville for two weeks to discover that, although they get so little of it, they’ve cornered the market in daft conversations about it.
Maybe at heart Townsvilleans are all farmers. It’s either too dry, too hot, too wet, too cold or too humid.
I suppose the reason they think like this is that, generally speaking, it’s either too dry, too hot, too wet, coo cold or too humid.
I wouldn’t mind talking about the weather, if I could find something interesting to say. But when your neighbour says: “G’day Col; dry enough for ya? The only riposte that springs to mind is: “Yes.”
Actually that’s a lie. What I really want to say is that of course it’s dry enough for me you vacuous cretin! The roses are dead, the law is a dust bowl and there are tadpoles coming through the taps.
To be fair, he doesn’t always say that. Later this year or, possibly, early next, he’ll say, “G’day Col; wet enough for ya?”
At least then I shall be able dig a hole to hide the body in when I’ve killed him.
I wish I knew what it was that made us do it. Are we all terminally boring? We know it will be dry today, wet tomorrow; that lightning will one day melt the microwave and that hail will make the Holden look like something the Mafia had a grudge against; but when it happens we still can’t help talking about it.
There’s not even an element of surprise in the conversation. No one is saying: “Great Scott – it’s very dry!”
Only “Dry eh? To which there is no answer worth wasting breath on.
I’m tempted to spend a few years in Arabian deserts, or the Arctic Circle, just to see how they handle it. It’s inconceivable that any Bedouin, mounted on a camel, would come across a traveller going the other way and say: “Dry enough for you?”
Or: “Heard the forecast?”
The other bloke would think you were having a lend and cut your throat.
And I don’t see how you could look an Eskimo in the eye through the cloud of your frozen breath and say: “Cold, isn’t it?”
Their conversational gambits over the garden fence (or whatever passes for one where there are no gardens) must encompass other topics. Subjects that, while offering some common ground, allow for the prospect of a continuing debate somewhere above the level of a Janet and John early reader.
If you’d been sitting on a camel all day something like: “My piles are giving me gyp.” could be good.
The ritual response could be: “Got the hump, have you?” At which you’d both have a good laugh and go seeking a handy oasis.
I’m going to try it on Fred next time I see him. Before he can say a word I shall leap in with something like: “My bowels are festering like a four-week-old curry that someone forgot to put in the fridge.”
Trouble is, I know how the idiot will respond.
He’ll say: “That’s a bit rough. Probably the bloody weather. Dry eh?”