Friday, April 3, 2009

Mr. Weather

Oliver was walking home from school one day, when out from the bushes jumped a strange little man. He wore a large purple top hat with symbols printed all over in silver stitching. His large purple overcoat resembled a velvet rain jacket. He wore bright purple galoshes and carried a silver cane in the shape of a long lightening bolt.

“Hello! I’m Mr. Weather!” He squeaked in an abnormally high pitched voice. The pitch of his voice was not entirely surprising as he was no taller than 5 feet at the most.

“Uh,” Oliver responded, suddenly nervous at being accosted by a garishly dressed man with a squeaky voice and a silver cane.

“Please, call me Mr. Weather!” the little man squeaked again, and did a little two step followed by a hop and a small bow at the waist.

“OK, Mr. Weather,” Oliver started looking around for other kids walking home in case he needed witnesses.

“You don’t believe in me, do you?” Mr. Weather asked with a sly grin.

“Believe in you? I’ve never heard of you, to be honest.”

“WHAT? You have never heard of Mr. Weather? Impossi-rain!”

“Impossi-what?” Oliver asked in disbelief.

“Incredib-lightning!” Mr. Weather said and then chuckled in disbelief while shaking his head.

“Are you just saying words and then trying to put weather words at the end of them?” Oliver asked.

“Me? Not at all! Torna-don’t even think such ridiculou-stormy…weather…coming…” Mr. Weather trailed off slightly embarrassed.

Oliver stood with his arms folded, suddenly annoyed by this tiny man who was preventing him from getting home on time. “OK then, why do they call you Mr. Weather? Can you make it rain or something?” Oliver glanced at Mr. Weather’s hat and noticed all of the symbols sewn into the hat were representations of upcoming weather forecasts. He recognized the double cloud of “overcast” and the traditional single cloud with a lightening bold coming out of the bottom that usually represented “thunderstorms”.

“Rain? Mere child’s play, my boy!” Mr. Weather perked up and rubbed his purple-gloved hands together. “Watch THIS!”

Mr. Weather did an elaborate dance followed by some complicated hand maneuvers. When he was finished he stood, out of breath, with his silver cane raised towards the sky. “BEHOLD!” he bellowed.

Oliver looked up and noticed a clear blue sky with the sun riding lower as it was now 4:30. A few wispy clouds strayed across the sun. “Behold what?” he asked.
“PARTLY CLOUDY!” Mr. Weather triumphantly declared, lowering his cane and bowing.

“Oh, for crying out loud!” Oliver declared and picked up his book bag, brushing past Mr. Weather and continuing towards home.

“Wait! Stop! Let me conjure up a Tornado to whisk you safely to your home!” Mr. Weather immediately began spinning in place using his cane as a balancing point while Oliver sighed and continued walking. After a few minutes of spinning, Mr. Weather’s purple top hat flew off and he fell to the ground dizzy and nauseous. He sat alone on the sidewalk for a few minutes gathering his thoughts. He slowly got up, put his hat back on, and wobbled his way to the local bar.

After a few hours in the bar, Mr. Weather stumbled outside and immediately began urinating on the wall by the front door of the bar. “Makin’ it rain now, aren’t I? Make it RAIN!” he mumbled to himself as he finished relieving himself on his purple galoshes. Suddenly, he noticed the glare of red and blue lights reflected from the windows of the bar in front of him. He straightened up, weaving from side to side slightly. From behind him, he heard a familiar voice: “Wally, how many times do we have to do this?” Officer O’Leary said with an exasperated sigh.

“Tim, good of you to *hic* join me,” Mr. Weather slurred. “First round is on you!” he laughed to himself as he turned around to face his accuser. Officer Tim O’Leary stood with his arms folded across his chest and a stern look on his face. Passers by were amused watching the tiny man decked in purple being scolded by the much larger police officer.

“Wally, this is the third time this month! I’m getting sick of this little back and forth with you. Can’t you get your act together?”

“Mr. Weather. Please call me Mr. Weather!” Mr. Weather insisted as he bent to pick up his oversized purple top hat.

“Whatever you want Wally, I mean Mr. Weather. Looks like we have another public drunkenness charge to add to your long colorful history,” Officer O’Leary said as he walked over to escort Wally into his squad car. He gently guided Wally into the back seat of his cruiser, and got in to drive away while turning off the flashers.
“So, what is it this time, Wally?” Officer O’Leary began. “Wife leave you? Child Support payments late? Too many relatives bugging you around the holidays?”

“You don’t even want to know, Tim my boy,” Mr. Weather said in a tired, sad voice while looking at the ground in the back seat.

“Try me. You know I’m a good listener. Lord knows I’ve listened to enough of your stories to fill an encyclopedia.”

“Mr. Mathematics is a dick,” Mr. Weather stated with certain finality.

Tim was caught off guard by this declaration. “Mr. Mathematics you said?”

“That is what I said, Tim. Mr. Mathematics is a complete dick and won’t leave me alone.”

“Um, I see. Well, what exactly is he doing that is so bothersome?”

“Where do I start?” Mr. Weather barked out an exasperated laugh. “He is constantly solving equations out loud at all the meetings. Square root this, factorial that. No one can stand him! Mr. Physics took a swing at him the other night at Karaoke. Mr. Space keyed his car! Mr. Balls thinks he should be kicked out of the committee!”

Mr. BALLS?” Officer Tim asked incredulously.

“Yes, physical education, sports, that kind of thing,” Mr. Weather said distractedly as he turned his hat over and over nervously in his lap. “Personality quirks I can deal with. Character flaws? Fine. He personally goes out of his way to insult me! He’ll say things like ‘Hey Mr. Weather, looks like rain today!’ and then he’ll spit at me and smack my hat off!”

“Sounds like an unpleasant fellow,” Officer Tim sympathized from the front seat of his police car.

“You don’t even know the half of it!” Mr. Weather shouted with an unsteady voice as his face flushed. The other day he said ‘Oh, look out, here comes a tornado!’ and then kicked me as hard as he could in the nuts! He’s the one making me crazy like this! I can’t take any more of his nonsense!”

They drove in silence for a few minutes. Finally, Officer Tim broke the ice. “Wally, did any of this really happen?”

“Call me Mr. Weather…” Mr. Weather said as he avoided the question.

Officer O’Leary pulled the car to the side of the road and turned in his seat to face Mr. Weather. “Look, I know you are having a rough time of things. I don’t know any of these guys you are talking about, but the fact remains that you have to be an upstanding citizen. No public drunkenness. No public nudity. No assaulting citizens. No bending over and 'summoning hurricanes' in crowded restaurants. Remember that one? You are better than that.” He paused to let his little pep talk sink in. “Get out of here,” Officer O’Leary said to Mr. Weather. “You caught me on a good day. Next time, it won’t be a good day, got it?”

Mr. Weather squeaked out a ‘Thank You’ and then got out of the car and stood on the sidewalk as Officer O’Leary pulled away. He turned and slowly began walking down the sidewalk, by now thoroughly sober and still fuming thinking about his problems with Mr. Mathematics. The hem of his purple overcoat dragged through the dirt as he walked and he reached up to straighten his oversized purple top hat. As he walked, a car slowly drove past him, and a teenaged boy leaned his head out the window shouting, “Hey Barney, didn’t know you got so short! You look like a purple penis!” The car slowly pulled away as Mr. Weather listened to loud barking laughter from the open window.

Mr. Weather stopped and watched the car drive up to a stoplight. Frowning intensely, he rose both hands up towards the sky and brought them down dramatically while he looked at the car. Just then, a 10 second burst of hail peppered the car. Large golf-ball sized chunks of ice bounced in all directions, ricocheting onto the street after striking the windshield, the roof, the hood, the tires and the windows of the car. Just as suddenly, the hail stopped and the car pulled slowly through the intersection with the boy’s head once again popping out from the opened window, looking back at Mr. Weather. He smiled and raised his middle finger at the boy as the car drove out of sight.

Walking quicker now, Mr. Weather pulled a cell phone from the pocket of his purple overcoat. He dialed a number and held the phone to his ear.

“Balls? Weather here. I’m back! Yeah, it’s all back. Get Physics and Space and meet at my house. See if Mr. Aerodynamics is around. We’re going to finally get a little payback on Math. I think it’s long overdue. I think we’ll be adding a giant hurricane to his division of…subtract…forget it, just get everyone ready…”

As Mr. Weather walked with a hop in his step, happily chatting with Mr. Balls, the sun broke through the clouds and shined down on the street, melting the golf ball sized hail that had fallen without warning minutes before. It looked like it was going to be a beautiful day.

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