Good morning, fish.

You may have noticed that your newspaper floated to your doorstep this morning folded in the shape of a sailboat. This is how we bring you the news these days. Since our delivery people haven’t yet developed the gills and fins required to make their rounds, we’re innovating.

You’re welcome.

It sure is a fine one, isn’t it? Children are swimming in the streets, just like we used to do when we were lads. I spotted a pair of the young ones hounding their mother to take them to the beach. Mom finally relented, dragging out the lawn chairs and packing some sandwiches.

They walked 6 feet, to the low end of Bartlett Street Hill, and there they were. Welcome to Lake Downtown. Please remember that there are no lifeguards on duty.

On Webster Street, an old man is adrift on an old door that washed away from a construction site. Kids are paddling along next to him, kicking their feet like ducks to hear the old-timer’s tales.

“And in the morning, you could actually watch the sun rise in the sky, this great big ball of fire that appeared in the eastern horizon. It would blaze all day long, floating across the sky like a mirage, warming the air and burning gold into your skin.”

The kids smiled and twirled their fingers next to their temples. Ball of fire in the sky! Old people are crazy.

Tragedy on Old Greene Road where a harried woman, rendered clinically insane by three days of kids running around inside, shooed her children out the door.

“Go out and play,” she told them. “You’re not going to melt.”

Sadly, the kids melted. One moment they were there, the next they were just swirls of color streaming toward Sabattus Street like so much Kool-Aid for the eels. Other kids pointed and laughed from their inner tubes.

The rain kept coming.

Women with implants, scorned for years for their vanity, were suddenly viewed as blessed as they floated their way across the city to the underwater malls and dance clubs. Police patrolled their beats in kayaks, forced to make their own siren noises. City Hall looked like a toy at the bottom of an aquarium.

You don’t want to go to Kennedy Park at night because night is when the eels come out and the eels are hopped up on Kool-Aid.

A support group has formed for people who bought motorcycles this year. Or lawn mowers or really expensive sunglasses. To get to the group meetings, you have to charter a boat manned by three drunk guys singing, “Show me the Way to Go Home.”

One of those guys is dead and doesn’t smell so great, but what are you going to do? Ask Keanu Reeves for a ride on his surfboard? I don’t think so.

So many local athletic events have been canceled that our sports writers are forced to hang around in the newsroom where there’s always the risk — this is a real possibility in these damp, difficult times — they might have to talk to people outside their sports circles. You can see the fear in their eyes as they desperately scan ESPN 9 (The Nueve!) for the Guatemalan Ball in a Cup World Series.

A man was savagely beaten with a dead mackerel for singing “The Sun will Come Out Tomorrow” while floating down East Avenue. Mermaid hookers can be seen splashing along the strip over on Walnut, which is all fun and games until you go home with a case of ick (look it up).

There is suddenly a fine excuse for all those inflatable toys you keep in the back of your closet. Brother Doug has built an ark. I mean, come on. You knew that was going to happen eventually.

The summer Fire Your Guns Into the Air celebrations have come to a halt. What, those dudes are supposed to go out and shoot in the rain? A guy could catch a cold doing that. No, the only thing the bad guys are shooting these days are lovely photographs of the raging falls.

The only way you got to see the transit of Venus is if you were, in fact, vacationing on the sun that day.

So, I’ve been sitting here for half an hour, thinking of odd things to write about the rain. It’s been nonstop for three days, you know. Not a single pause in the biblical torrent.

So, I get up, crack my knuckles and look outside. Wouldn’t you know it? The rain has stopped. The sun, a ball of fire as prophesied by that old dude on the door, can almost be seen through the gauzy curtain of clouds. Which leaves me with the imbroglio: wad this sucker up and throw it in the trash? Or leave it as is and go outside to play?

Turned out to be a non-issue. After writing the above paragraph, I went back outside and, yup. Raining again.

Mailman delivering his packages via jet ski. Kids hanging tire swings from mushrooms 9 feet tall. And me with only a motorcycle for transportation.

You might be tempted to laugh at me as I ride on two wheels through the aquatic city, but it would be wise for you to zip it, mister. I may look like a wet dog, but at least I’m not out there trolling for mermaid on Walnut Street.

It’s all fun and games, my friend, until you catch ick.

Mark LaFlamme is a Sun Journal staff writer. Email him at [email protected] if you are showing signs of freshwater white spot disease.


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