og, bog and quag... we’ve had so much rain, we’re left high and dry. Along the eastern seaboard, we’re heartily sick of rain. We show irritation at precipitation. We want to stop the drop and nix the drip and to prove the point, down at the Terminus Pub the patrons are practising the Reverse Rain Dance. They are not jiggling to primal beats but remain fully clothed. They are not writhing around frothing at the mouth but standing upright and holding vaguely intelligent conversations about footy and cars. They’re not fooling around with virgins or venomous animals (not in daylight hours, anyway). All they do is ingest. They suck up the excess moisture in whatever form it comes to hand – glasses, pots, pints or schooners.* They are each doing their personal best to soak up as much liquid as they can. Maybe we could approach this excess water like we do rubbish. Instead of a Clean Up Australia Day we could have a Mop Up Australia Day, where it would be everybody’s national duty to drink as much of any chosen liquid as physically possible and then take a good lie down. Students of Anatomy 101 realise what’s coming. The wastewater engineers also realise what’s coming. Just hope the fish do, too.
Back in June, when I went public about this reverse rain dance, the first thing the ABC asked was: “So are y’gonna get your gear off? Or on?” Since when has disrobing been the direct line to the rain gods? It only takes a swift glance at the physiques breasting the bar at the Terminus to be worried by the prospects. Rain dance? More like water torture. Tanks also come to mind. Or even drip feed... but I’d better leave it there. When floods hit other parts of the country, the army rushes to sandbag and various governments scuttle off to blame someone. Civic engineers and hydrologists rub their hands in glee. Economists click their tongues and reach for words such as ‘megabillions’ when describing potential losses in terms of trade. Agronomists grind their teeth and dry retch. But the patrons of the Terminus look at the rain-streaked windows and the water-slicked roads and mutter “bit wet”, turn back to the bar and add: “Another round, ta.” It’s their national duty.
*Except those Volvo-4WDriving weekend farmers. Shiraz for them. Perchance a teasing little Pinot. It’s still liquid.
Journalist, novelist and public speaker Sue Webster is part of the third generation of a dairying family and director of a company that specialises in agricultural and financial writing. 87